Five dead, nearly 40 injured when driver plows through weekend Christmas parade 

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


A Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., became the scene of unthinkable tragedy on Sunday when the driver of an SUV appeared to deliberately plow through the crowd, leaving five dead and dozens more injured. According to police, one person is in custody for the incident, as reported by Reuters. 

The Post Millennial reports that Darrell Brooks Jr. (39) is the suspect that police arrested, and stated that Brooks is a “career criminal” who was released from jail two days prior to the incident. FISM News was not able to independently confirm this report. The vehicle believed to be used in the attack was also recovered. 

 A video of the incident, which occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m., shows a red sport utility vehicle speeding through the crowd of performers and spectators, appearing to run over multiple people. As the driver fled the scene, crowds rushed back into the street to provide assistance to the victims. One witness estimates that the vehicle was traveling at a speed of approximately 40 mph. A local CBS affiliate posted an image of a red SUV with visible damage in the front parked in a nearby driveway a short time after the incident took place. 

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson told reporters that it is not clear whether the incident was terroristic in nature.

Witness Angelito Tenorio describes watching the horrific events unfold: “[W]e saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route. And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Early reports of the sound of gunshots at the scene led some to believe the suspect was firing into the crowd. Another video, however, appears to show shots being fired by police officers attempting to stop the car as it crashed through street barriers. Thompson said he did not believe the driver fired any shots.

Immediately following the incident, police cautioned local residents to shelter in place. The warning was subsequently lifted when it was determined that there was no further threat.

Jodi Singsime, 42, describes the horrifying scene as it unfolded: “I heard and saw the people being hit, but what you could do more than seeing is hearing, and just that sound was insane,” she said. A nurse, Singsime said she briefly took shelter with her family inside a nearby store then rushed back out to provide medical assistance to the injured. She became tearful when describing a young boy she saw lying in the road. “I felt his neck for a pulse and he had one but his eyes were barely open and his face – all I can remember is his sweet little innocent face was purple. He wasn’t really with us.”

A witness told Milwaukee’s Fox6 TV station that she saw the SUV strike members of a dance team of girls ranging in age from nine to 15, leaving white pom poms strewn across the road as groups of people rushed to their aid. Another saw the driver hit a group of “Dancing Grannies,” with at least one person being hurled over the hood of the vehicle.

A video that aired on Fox News Sunday shows a young toddler barely escaping the oncoming vehicle as she danced in the street.

The Children’s Wisconsin hospital reported treating 15 patients as of 8 p.m., with no reported fatalities at that time.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “tragic situation” and federal officials were in contact with local authorities to offer assistance.

“Our hearts are with the families and the entire community,” she said in a post on Twitter on Monday.