What we know about what happened at the Wisconsin Christmas parade
Here’s what we know about the incident that unfolded.
Crowds gathered along Main Street in Waukesha to enjoy the parade when a red SUV passed through a series of barricades and rushed the parade route around 4:39 p.m. local time, the chief said. from Waukesha Police, Daniel Thompson.
In the video, people can be heard screaming and seen running to safety as the SUV continues its way through the crowd.
A Waukesha police officer discharged his gun in an attempt to stop the driver, Thompson said. No passerby was hit by the officer’s gunfire, the chief added, noting that he does not believe any shots were fired from the SUV.
A vehicle was recovered and a “person of interest” was arrested, Thompson said. “The scene is now safe,” the chef said on Sunday evening.
Where is the investigation?
The driver has been identified as Darrell E. Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee, Thompson said Monday afternoon at a press conference. He faces five counts of intentional homicide and other counts are possible.
The chief said no motive was known. Brooks was embroiled in domestic unrest earlier Sunday and left the scene just before driving his SUV through the parade, Thompson said.
“We are confident he acted on his own,” said Thompson. “There is no evidence that this was a terrorist incident.”
Thompson said the SUV was identified shortly after passing through the parade and Brooks was quickly pulled over. He was not injured, Thompson said.
Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to assist the Waukesha Police Department, according to Erik Longnecker, acting division chief of the ATF’s public affairs division. .
City Hall is closed to the public, although media are allowed to attend press conferences.
Who was injured
The five deceased victims are aged 52 to 81 and include four women and a man, Thompson said.
Among those injured are members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a Catholic priest, several parishioners and Catholic schoolchildren in Waukesha, according to Sandra Peterson, communications director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Officials at Children’s Wisconsin, a pediatric hospital in Milwaukee, told CNN 18 patients had been taken to their facility and at least 10 children were in intensive care.
“They have 10 in intensive care at the moment,” CNN’s Natasha Chen reported. “They said six of these children are in critical condition. Three are in serious condition and one is in fair condition. These children are between 3 and 16 years old. And there are three groups of siblings among the children. patients they have there. ”
CNN earlier reported that a total of 15 patients were being treated there.
Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a Waukesha County hospital, told CNN on Sunday evening it was treating 13 patients: three in critical condition, four in serious condition and six in fair condition. “We are deeply saddened by today’s senseless tragedy and our hearts are with the community of Waukesha,” a hospital statement said.
Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital – the only Level I trauma center in southeastern Wisconsin – confirmed to CNN that it also treats patients but does not provide specific numbers or their conditions. Level I trauma centers generally care for the most seriously ill patients.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies released a statement on Facebook on Monday, claiming members of the group were among the dead in Sunday’s tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Their statement did not mention how many members of the group were involved in the incident.
The Waukesha School District canceled classes on Monday, according to the district, and will determine if classes resume on Tuesday.
“The district will have additional counselors available during the school day in all buildings for any students who may need support services,” school officials said in a statement.
How witnesses described what happened
O’Boyle, who recorded the incident from her balcony, told CNN she was watching the parade when “the next thing I heard was screams, and I turned my head and I saw the car coming and plowing the group that was passing right in front of my balcony at this point.
“He hit at least two people right away and knocked them over. And then continued down the road to People’s Park which is at the end of the block – then continued, it didn’t stop. “
O’Boyle said he heard screams and people calling out the names of their children, adding that “it wasn’t something I wanted to see… a little freaked out”.
Angelito Tenorio, a candidate for Wisconsin state treasurer and campaigning at the parade, said the scene was “absolutely chaotic.”
“No one knew if it was an attack or if it was an accident or if it was a deliberate attack on the people in the parade,” he said. in an interview with CNN. “People just started to flee, to flee the place, to leave their belongings behind them, to grab their children, to call, to shout, to look for their relatives.
“And when the crowd cleared, that’s when I felt like I saw people, who seemed to be lying in the middle of the street, lying still, lying lifeless.”
Kaylee Staral, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel intern who also witnessed what happened, told CNN’s Pamela Brown, “probably about 20 to 30 minutes after the parade started, a red SUV came running into the middle of the street – there was a lot of screaming – and we almost thought maybe it was Santa Claus, but it was a red SUV and it hit a lot of people. “
Staral went on to say “there were several people on the ground”.
In her description of what she saw, Staral said “right in front of me in the little place I was sitting in, probably four people were downstairs so there were a lot of people running to get to them. see. I think the four people in front of me were still breathing but they were on the ground, they weren’t moving. “
Biden offers prayers for the community
Speaking from the White House on Monday, President Biden prayed for the community and called the parade incident a “horrific act of violence.”
“While we don’t have all the facts and details yet, we do know this morning that five families in Waukesha are facing a new heartbreak of a lifetime without a loved one. At least 40 Americans are suffering from injuries, some in a critical condition, and a whole community is struggling, struggling to deal with this horrific act of violence, ”Biden said.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) ordered that all flags be hoisted at half mast in “all buildings, grounds and military installations” in the state, to honor those killed and injured in the parade of Waukesha, according to a statement released by the governor’s office on Monday.
“While much is still unknown, including the full extent of the injuries and the number of lives lost,” the statement added, “the people of Wisconsin pray for the community of Waukesha and all affected, and mourn the resulting loss of life from this senseless tragedy. “
US Representative Scott Fitzgerald (right), whose district includes Waukesha, tweeted: “I pray for the safety of everyone affected by the senseless Waukesha tragedy tonight. If you are looking for family, please go to the Waukesha metro. Center, 212 E Saint Paul Ave. I continue to monitor the situation as all the details are revealed and I thank all first responders who answer the call for help. “
CNN’s Alaa Elassar, Natasha Chen, Andy Rose, Arlette Saenz, Conor Powell, Shimon Prokupecz and Evan Perez contributed to this report.