The Wisconsin city of Waukesha is in shock after a car crashed into a speeding Christmas parade at 4.39 p.m. Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring 40 others.
The red Ford Escape SUV was seen in video captured at the scene, driving directly toward the cheerleaders and band members at about 40 mph, killing about 20 people and causing the crowd to disperse in panic. People gathered to enjoy the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade to disperse.
Local police chief Dan Thompson said at a press conference that his department had detained one person and confiscated the SUV, but he did not yet know whether the driver’s actions had any links to terrorism.
The suspect has since been named as a Milwaukee man, Darrell Edward Brooks Jr., 39, who was out on bail for only two days after being arrested on November 5 for domestic abuse, one protesting officer, the other. Degree Negligence endangering safety, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping.
Mr Brooks has been convicted of several criminal offenses since 1999, is known for a prolific social media presence and for rapping under the name Mathboi Fly, appearing in “Half a Ticket”. Similar to a vehicle involved in the Waukesha attack. , one of his music videos was uploaded to YouTube.
Eyewitnesses to Sunday’s atrocities described the car as speeding along the parade route and “going from side to side targeting people”.
“The car bombed. It was intentionally going from left to right,” reported bystander Tyler Kotlarek the new York Times,
Angelito Tenorio, an alderman in nearby West Allis, told the Associated Press that the driver “simply put the pedal to the metal”.
“Then we heard a loud bang,” he continued. “And after that, we just heard screams and screams from the crowd, from the people in the parade. And people started crying, running away with tears in their eyes.
Chief Thompson said the driver had not fired a weapon, contrary to initial reports, but said one of his officers had shot him while attempting to stop the car.
Meanwhile, four senior law enforcement officers told NBC News That investigators were investigating the possibility that the suspect was on the run from an earlier incident that involved a knife fight when he fled the parade.
Children’s Wisconsin, a local pediatric hospital, said it had received 15 patients as of last night and that number had not reported any deaths.
A Catholic community group wrote on its Facebook page that several of its parishioners were injured and hospitalized, as was a group known as the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies”, whose members aged 50–70 celebrated the festival. were participating in.
“Group members and volunteers were impressed and we await word on their terms,” read a post.
“Please Grandma, keep all those injured and everyone who witnessed this horrific incident in your thoughts and prayers.”
The city’s mayor, Sean Reilly, said the community was faced with “horror and tragedy” for what should have been a day of celebration, while state governor Tony Evers tweeted that he was “tonight with Waukesha and all the kids, Praying for the families and community members affected by this senseless act”, praising the first responders at the scene.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul tweeted: “What happened in Waukesha today is sickening, and I’m sure those responsible will be brought to justice.”
The White House said it was “closely monitoring the situation” and offered support and assistance to local officials.
Another eyewitness said Cory Montiho, whose daughter was hit by a vehicle Milwaukee Journal Sentinel That “there were pom-poms and shoes and hot chocolate spilled everywhere. I had to go from one mutilated body to another to find my daughter.”
He said: “My family is safe but many are not. I was holding a little girl’s head in my hand, she was holding it and her ears were bleeding. As she fell, I held her mother. Please pray.”
Agents from the FBI and ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) are assisting the Waukesha Police Department in the investigation of the incident and a family reunion center was established at the Metro Transit Center on Bank Street.
A shelter-in-place order was given to local citizens on Sunday night and parts of the city, including Main Street and Barstow Street, were closed to the public until at least noon on Monday as investigations continue.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Waukesha