Wisconsin parade news – latest: Darrell Brooks appears in court as prosecutors announce sixth Waukesha victim

·37 min read

Darrell Brooks appeared in court today for a preliminary hearing on charges for allegedly killing six people by ramming his car into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening.

Prosecutors revealed the death of a sixth victim, a child, during the hearing, where Mr Brooks bail was set at $5m.

The 39-year-old suspected driver, seen wide-eyed in a new mugshot released earlier in the day, was already facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with a sixth expected in light of the newest death. He was allegedly involved in a “domestic dispute” moments prior to driving onto the parade route, and court records show he has an extensive rap sheet dating back to 1999.

Doorbell camera footage captured Mr Brooks waiting for an Uber outside a home roughly 20 minutes after he plowed through the parade. The homeowner said he invited Mr Brooks in for a sandwich before police arrived to arrest him.

At an emotional press conference on Monday, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson read out the names of those who had died: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

The sixth victim was identified on Tuesday as eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was critically injured alongside his 12-year-old brother Tucker.

The names of injured victims - many of whom are children - continue to trickle out through online fundraisers seeking help with medical bills.

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Key Points

  • How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

  • Candlelight vigil held for victims

  • Everything we know about suspect Darrell Brooks

  • ‘Dancing Grannies’ Facebook group devastated after the attack

  • Video shows suspect going for sandwich moments after crashing car into parade

Wisconsin church confirms death of Jackson Sparks

00:01 , Graeme Massie

The eight-year-old became the sixth victim of the Wisconsin Christmas parade incident last Sunday.

“Aaron Sparks and Sheri Sparks would like to thank everyone for your prayers and amazing support during this difficult time,” said LifePoint Church in a Facebook post.

“They wanted to give an update to everyone as you are likely aware, Tucker (12) and Jackson ( Sparks were both seriously injured during the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack and have been in the ICU since.

“Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home. This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

“Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family. They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus.”

DA’s past comments on reforms draw scrutiny

23:10 , Megan Sheets

A Wisconsin district attorney acknowledged that his justice reforms could lead to freed criminals killing others more than a decade before a man his office released on bail mowed down dozens of people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha.

John Chisholm began enacting reforms – including the lowering of cash bonds and diverting non-violent offenders to treatment programs – when he was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007.

Explaining his efforts to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that same year, Mr Chisholm acknowledged the possibility of adverse consequences.

“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into a treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen,” he said.

“It does not invalidate the overall approach.”

Mr Chisholm’s comments were drawn back into the spotlight this week after Darrell Brooks, a felon with a rap sheet dating back to 1999, was accused of killing five people and wounding 48 others by driving his car into Waukesha’s Christmas parade.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:

DA admitted danger of reforms years before Waukesha parade

Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks confirmed as sixth victim

22:39 , Megan Sheets

The sixth victim of the Waukesha parade attack has been confirmed as eight-year-old Jackson Sparks.

A GoFundMe for Jackson’s family confirmed the tragic news on Tuesday evening after prosecutors revealed the sixth death at Darrell Brooks’ court hearing.

Jackson’s brother Tucker, 12, was also seriously injured but is “miraculously recovering” and will be discharged soon, the fundraiser states.

Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks died of injuries sustained in the attack on Tuesday. He is pictured (front) with his brother Tucker, who was also injured (GoFundMe)
Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks died of injuries sustained in the attack on Tuesday. He is pictured (front) with his brother Tucker, who was also injured (GoFundMe)

Suspect’s bail is set at $5m

22:29 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks’ bail was set at $5m during Tuesday’s hearing.

The prosecution read off a string of the defendant’s prior convictions and his history of bail-jumping before requesting bail of $5m.

As he listened to the list, Mr Brooks hunched over staring at his cuffed wrists.

Prosecutors announce sixth death at court hearing

22:15 , Megan Sheets

A sixth victim has died in the wake of the Waukesha parade crash, prosecutors said at Darrell Brooks’ hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the sixth victim was a child, and they expect to bring a sixth count of first-degree intentional homicide as a result.

The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell reports:

Child becomes sixth person to die after Wisconsin parade attack

Darrell Brooks appears in court

22:03 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks entered the Waukesha County Court just after 4pm CT on Tuesday to face five charges of first-degree intentional homicide.

Dressed in a dark green jumpsuit a coronavirus mask, Mr Brooks is sitting next to his attorney in handcuffs.

The hearing is being livestreamed here.

 (Waukesha County Court)
(Waukesha County Court)

The Independent’s Graeme Massie reports:

Darrell Brooks charged as he appears in court over Waukesha parade attack

Waukesha County cops bring stuffed animals to victims in hospital

21:50 , Megan Sheets

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department stopped by the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on Tuesday to hand out stuffed animal K9s to kids injured in Sunday’s attack.

The plushies are available to purchase for $20 each, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to victims.

The hospital on Monday confirmed it had treated 18 minors injured during the parade.

Milwaukee Brewers fundraiser rakes in nearly $35,000

21:05 , Megan Sheets

A fundraiser hosted by the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team brought in nearly $35,000 on Tuesday morning.

Attendees were given the opportunity to meet with top members of the team, with its president of baseball operations matching every donation.

The team is sponsoring a second fundraiser through the annual Magic of Lights festival beginning on Wednesday evening.

Illinois Democrat staffer ousted after linking Kyle Rittenhouse verdict to Waukesha tragedy

20:30 , Megan Sheets

A staff member for the Democratic Party of DuPage County in Illinois was fired after posting a string of tweets linking the Waukesha parade tragedy to Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal.

“It was probably just self-defense #Wisconsin #KyleRittenhouse,” social media manager Mary Lemanski tweeted, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In other posts she wrote: “You reap what you sow, Wisconsin,” and “I’m sad. I’m sad anytime anyone dies. I just believe in Karma and this came around quick on the citizens of Wisconsin.”

Ms Lemanski’s Twitter account has since been deleted and the party said it had “severed ties” with her.

WATCH: Doorbell footage of Darrell Brooks’ arrest

20:00 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks’ arrest was captured by a doorbell camera at a home where he stopped after allegedly mowing down dozens of people at Waukesha’s Christmas parade on Sunday.

The footage shows Mr Brooks telling the homeowner he’s waiting for an Uber, minutes before cops arrive to take him into custody.

Fundraisers for Waukesha victims bring in thousands

19:26 , Megan Sheets

Friends and families of the roughly 50 people, including many children, hit by an SUV that sped through a Christmas parade in a suburban Milwaukee downtown say they suffered life-threatening injuries, with some clinging to life.

Online fundraising pleas detail the extent of some of the injuries from the incident that has left five dead so far and 48 hurt.

The Associated Press reports:

'Needs a miracle': Fundraisers plead for Waukesha victims

Probe into Darrell Brooks’ release from jail days before crash

18:30 , Megan Sheets

An investigation has been launched into how Darrell Brooks had been released from jail on “inappropriately low” bail just 10 days before he allegedly plowed his SUV into Waukesha’s Christmas parade, killing five and injuring 48.

Reports said Mr Brooks Jr had been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others, most recently on November 5.

That was part of a domestic abuse incident for which he was also charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, and had been released on bail of just $1,000.

On Monday, officials from the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office said they were investigating the bail recommendations from previous crimes said to involve Mr Brooks.

“The State’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr Brooks,” said the office of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports:

Darrell Brooks’ rap sheet dates back to 1999

18:00 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks’ extensive criminal record dating back to 1999 emerged following his arrest over the Christmas parade crash.

The 39-year-old has convictions for drug and firearm possession, strangulation, battery and resisting arrest, has been sentenced to two prison terms, and spent years on probation and under court supervision.

On 2 November, Mr Brooks was arrested on domestic violence charges after he allegedly tried to run over the mother of his child.

He was charged with recklessly endangering safety, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.

Brooks posted the $1,000 bond and was released on 11 November.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports:

Suspect in Wisconsin Christmas parade attack identified as Darrell Brooks

Darrell Brooks to appear in court on five charges of first-degree intentional homicide

17:00 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing five people and injuring dozens more with his SUV at Waukesha’s Christmas parade, is set to appear in court at 4pm CT on Tuesday.

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office intends to bring five counts of first-degree intentional homicide against Mr Brooks, with additional charges possible down the road pending the ongoing investigation.

Mr Brooks’ arrest was filmed by a doorbell camera at a home where he’d allegedly stopped to eat a sandwich and call an Uber about 20 minutes after the crash.

How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

16:43 , Megan Sheets

Waukesha, Wisconsin, is in mourning and shock after five people were killed and dozens injured when a SUV ploughed into a Christmas parade, scattering crowds and sending people fleeing in horror.

Officials in the small city outside Milwaukee said the parade, a “Norman Rockwell-type event” that the city had proudly hosted for decades for both residents and visitors, was part of its very fabric.

Yet, this year’s celebrations turned into horror when, on Sunday, a speeding SUV was seen tearing down the road on which the parade was being held, and slamming into participants and onlookers.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe explains how the tragedy unfolded:

How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

Parade-goers asked to pick up discarded items

16:20 , Megan Sheets

Parade-goers who abandoned belongings when Waukesha’s Christmas celebration was thrown into chaos by a speeding SUV have been asked to pick up their lost items.

The city of Waukesha put out an announcement on Tuesday morning saying police are working to connect discarded items including wallets and keys with their owners.

Other items without identifying elements such as chairs and coolers are being stored at the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, where owners can retrieve them.

Parents of two brothers injured hoping for a ‘miracle’

16:03 , Megan Sheets

The family of two brothers who suffered serious head injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack say they are hoping for a miracle.

Tucker and Jackson Sparks are among three sets of siblings injured when a red SUV barrelled into marchers at the Christmas parade in Wisconsin.

Jackson, 8, underwent brain surgery on Sunday night at Children’s Wisconsin hospital and doctors were testing for brain function and brainstem activity on Monday.

“He needs a miracle,” the siblings’ cousin Alyssa Albro said in a GoFundMe page she has set up to help with the family’s mounting medical bills.

His older brother Tucker, 12, suffered a fractured skull and road rash but is expected to make a full recovery.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports:

Parents of two brothers injured in Waukesha Christmas parade hoping for a ‘miracle’

Pope Francis shares heartbreak for parade victims

15:00 , Megan Sheets

Pope Francis shared his sympathy with victims of the Christmas parade crash on Tuesday, saying he is praying for “spiritual strength which triumphs over violence and overcomes evil with good”.

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent the telegram of condolences on behalf of Francis to the archbishop of Milwaukee, Monsignor Jerome Listecki, on Tuesday.

Pope Francis asked that those affected by the “tragic incident” know he is spiritually close to them, and called on “the Lord to bestow upon everyone the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence and overcomes evil with good”.

The Associated Press reports:

Pope after US Christmas parade crash: May good overcome evil

Dancing Grannies pay tribute to fallen members

14:40 , Megan Sheets

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies have shared a touching tribute to members who were killed in the parade attack.

“Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our grannies and volunteer,” a Tuesday morning post in the group’s Facebook page read.

“Our injured grannies are in stable condition with one being released from the hospital Monday.

“The outpouring of prayers, messages and sentiments sent to the grannies over this devastating loss have touched us deeply. Many are asking how they can help. This FB page will be updated as we make arrangements to receive cards, donations and sentiments.

“Thank you all for your outpouring of love and kind words for the Dancing Grannies.”

Darrell Brooks caught by doorbell camera after parade tragedy

14:20 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brooks was reportedly filmed by a doorbell camera waiting for an Uber roughly 20 minutes after he drove his SUV into the parade route, killing five and injuring dozens more.

Mr Brooks, who was arrested not long after the footage was captured on Sunday, told the homeowner Daniel Rider: “I called an Uber and I’m supposed to be waiting for it over here, but I don’t know when it’s coming”.

He adds: “Can you call it for me please? I’m homeless.”

Mr Rider, according to NBC News, invited Mr Brooks inside his home, and made a sandwich for the suspect.

“All of a sudden, I look outside my street and I see a few cop cars drive by and I’m getting extra nervous,” Mr Rider said. “Then the next thing you know, you see the cops with lights on him saying, ‘hands in the air, hands in the air.’”

The Independent’s Gino Spocchia reports:

Waukesha suspect Darrell Brooks caught on camera after parade tragedy

Darrell Brooks: Everything we know about the Waukesha attack suspect

14:00 , Eleanor Sly

The man taken into custody after an SUV drove into a Christmas parade on Sunday night is 39-year-old Milwaukee local Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, say police.

Five people were killed and at least 48 more injured during the incident, in which a car barrelled into 20 cheerleaders, dancers and musicians at the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade.

Mr Brooks had only been out on bail for two days after being arrested on 5 November on charges of domestic abuse, resisting an officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping.

Joe Sommerlad has more:

What we know about Waukesha Christmas parade attack suspect

Waukesha Christmas parade: First pictures released of the victims named by police

13:40 , Eleanor Sly

The five people who were killed in the brutal attack on a Wisconsin Christmas parade have been named by police.

During a press conference on Monday, officials confirmed that Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52 and Wilhelm Hospel, 81, had died in the incident that took place on Sunday evening.

President Joe Biden addressed the parade tragedy in remarks from the White House on Monday afternoon.

Helen Elfer reports:

Waukesha Christmas parade: First pictures released of victims named by police

Fund launched for families ‘impacted by tragic incident'

13:10 , Eleanor Sly

A fund has been launched to support those impacted by the “tragic incident” in Wisconsin on Sunday.

The “United for Waukesha Community Fund” has been launched by the Waukesha County Community Foundation and United Way.

They wrote on Twitter: “This fund will support the needs of the families impacted by tragic incident at the Christmas Parade.”

Video shows suspect going for sandwich moments after crashing car into parade

12:33 , Eleanor Sly

A video captured by a doorbell camera seems to show Darrell Brooks, the suspect accused of driving through crowds at a festive parade in Wisconsin visiting a man’s house for a sandwich.

The footage was recorded just after he allegedly killed five people.

The clip was obtained by NBC News, and shows 39-year-old Brooks, knocking on the front door of resident Daniel Rider at his home.

The house is located a half-mile from the Waukesha Christmas parade route.

Brooks can be heard saying: “I called an Uber and I’m supposed to be waiting for it over here, but I don’t know when it’s coming... Can you call it for me please? I’m homeless.”

Mr Rider explained to NBC News he was watching football when he received a knock on his door and said that he was not aware of what had happened.

Mr Rider said he invited Brooks inside and let him use his phone. He also said that made the suspect a sandwich.

“All of a sudden, I look outside my street and I see a few cop cars drive by and I’m getting extra nervous,” said Mr Rider, who then asked Brooks to leave.

At the end of the video, Brooks can be seen being apprehended by police.

Waukesha: How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

11:39 , Eleanor Sly

A city in the American heartland is in mourning and shock after five people were killed and dozens injured, when a SUV ploughed into a Christmas parade, scattering crowds and sending people fleeing in horror.

Officials in Waukesha, Wisconsin, said the parade, a “Norman Rockwell-type event” that the city had proudly hosted for decades for both residents and visitors, was part of its very fabric.

Yet, this year’s celebrations turned into horror when, on Sunday, a speeding SUV was seen tearing down the road on which the parade was being held, and slamming into participants and onlookers.

Andrew Buncombe reports:

How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

Kamala Harris tweets prayers to Waukesha community

11:13 , Eleanor Sly

Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris tweeted her sympathies to both the families of the victims killed in Waukesha and to the “entire Waukesha community.”

She wrote on Twitter: “The violence that occurred last night in Waukesha, Wisconsin is heartbreaking.

“To the families who lost a loved one and the entire Waukesha community, please know that we are praying for you—and stand with you.”

The mayor of Milwaukee Tweeted his condolences

10:31 , Eleanor Sly

Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, shared his condolences with Waukesha on Twitter.

He wrote: “Milwaukee shares its deepest condolences with our neighbors in Waukesha. Yesterday should have been a time of seasonal joy.

“Instead, we are all praying for the injured and mourning those who were killed.”

Who are the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies?

10:07 , Eleanor Sly

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies club lost four of their members when a red SUV crashed into Christmas parade marchers and spectators in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Four out of the five people killed belonged to the group who were performing at the parade.

“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade,” the group said in a statement Monday morning, according to the Associated Press. “Putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness.”

On Monday, police released the names of the members who were killed. They were Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

Jane Kulich, 52, was also killed, although she was not a member of the club.

The Dancing Grannies perform in about 25 parades each year from Memorial Day to Christmas, according to its website. The group was originally formed in 1984.

President Biden offers condolences

09:31 , Eleanor Sly

Speaking from the White House on Monday, President Joe Biden offered his prayers for Waukesha and called the events a “horrific act of violence.”

He said:“While we don’t have all the facts and details yet, we know this morning that five families in Waukesha are facing fresh grief of a life without a loved one.

“At least 40 Americans are suffering from injuries, some of them in critical condition, and an entire community is struggling, struggling to cope with the horrific act of violence.”

Waukesha parade attack: What we know about the victims, including three ‘Dancing Grannies’

08:53 , Eleanor Sly

The five people killed by the driver who rammed into a Christmas parade at Waukesha city in Wisconsin on Sunday have been identified by police.

The victims were aged between 52 and 81 and three of them were affiliated with a dancing group for older women called the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies”, Waukesha police chief Daniel Thompson said on Monday.

Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71 and Tamara Durand, 52, were members of the dancing group, while 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, the fourth victim, was helping the group because his wife was a member.

What we know about the victims of the Waukesha parade attack

‘No evidence this is a terrorist incident’, says police Chief Daniel Thompson

08:11 , Eleanor Sly

There is no evidence that the attack was an act of terrorism, police have disclosed.

According to police Chief Daniel Thompson, the police “are confident he acted alone.”

Mr Thompson added: “There is no evidence this is a terrorist incident.”

The driver of the SUV which crashed through the Wisconsin parade, has been identified as Darrell Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee,

Brookes is due to make his first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon, with police recommending five charges of intentional homicide.

It is thought that additional charges could then be filed when more is known about those who were injured.

Brooks was out on bail at the time of the incident, according to court records and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office.

‘I stopped to help one boy – his legs were buckled under him ... and he was just shaking’: Grandmother recalls horror of Waukesha attack

07:34 , Eleanor Sly

The American flag was flying at half-mast on Monday in Waukesha, Wisconsin as shocked and crying locals waited at a favourite watering hole for a shuttle to take them to the vigil for victims mowed down a day earlier at the Milwaukee suburb’s annual Christmas parade.

The vigil was happening at a park about a half-mile away from The Destination, with mourners gathering nearer to the tragic scene where an SUV driver on Sunday killed five people and injured dozens more, including a group of “dancing grannies” and a high school band.

Tricia Tucker, 52, saw the whole disaster unfold; she lives in a condo building downtown in the Milwaukee suburb 25 minutes of the Wisconsin capital. The grandmother was attending the parade with her children, grandchildren, other friends and relatives on Sunday when the festive day turned to tragedy as a 39-year-old man with a long rap sheet allegedly plowed into the crowd.

Sheila Flynn has more:

Grandmother recalls horror of Waukesha Christmas parade attack

Wisconsin parade-crash suspect was in a domestic disturbance, says police chief

06:53 , Stuti Mishra

The suspect who plowed his SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier, the city police chief said on Monday.

The man identified as 39-year-old Darrell Brooks had a long history of criminal activities and has been charged with crimes 16 times since 1999.

However, police chief Dan Thompson earlier said there was no evidence the bloodshed on Sunday was a terrorist attack or that the suspect knew anyone in the parade.

He added that the suspect acted alone.

Brooks left the site of the domestic disturbance before officers arrived, and was not being chased by police at the time of the crash, according to the chief quoted by Associated Press, who gave no further details on the dispute.

Police said they were drawing up five charges of intentional homicide against Brooks.

On Sunday, the SUV that went on to kill people gathered for a joyous Christmas parade left 5 dead and over 40 injured. The victims were women aged between 52 to 79 and an 81-year-old man.

Additional reporting by AP

Crowd grows at candle light vigil in Waukesha

06:10 , Stuti Mishra

The number of people attending the candlelight vigil in Waukesha increased later on Monday night amid freezing temperatures.

Video footage of the late-night vigil showed mourners gathered to honour the dead after an SUV ploughed into the Christmas parade, killing at least five people and injuring 40 more.

Watch: Father reveals how he pushed daughter out of harm’s way at final moment

04:30 , Stuti Mishra

“I noticed him coming through the crowd and I noticed something was not right, and then I seen kind of like just people flying as I stood up,”, Mr Kluka Jr told TODAY. “I’m like ‘Oh no.’ My daughter stood up, I threw her out of the way, then I basically yelled, ‘Get out of the way,’ and my wife got out of the way”.

Watch the full video with Independent TV.

‘Dancing Grannies’ Facebook group devastated after the attack

03:56 , Stuti Mishra

Multiple members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were among the five killed in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.

The members were Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, and Tamara Durand, 52. Wilhelm Hospel, 81 was also closely associated with the group.

The dance group, in a Facebook post after the incident, said it is “devastated” and those who died were “extremely passionate Grannies”.

“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,” the group wrote.

“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts,” it added.

“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed.....joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue....held us together. Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted.”

“Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone who lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers.”

The Dancing Grannies describes itself on Facebook as a “group of grannies that meet once a week to practice routines for summer and winter parades.” They have been performing in parades since 1984.

Read more about the victims:

Waukesha Christmas parade: First pictures released of victims named by police

What happened at the Wisconsin Christmas parade?

03:00 , Justin Vallejo

The Wisconsin city of Waukesha is in shock after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade at high speed at 4.39pm on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring 40 more.

The red Ford Escape SUV was captured on video driving straight towards marching cheerleaders and band members at around 40mph, hitting around 20 people and causing the crowd that had assembled to enjoy the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade to disperse in panic.

Witnesses to the atrocity on Sunday described the car as having accelerated along the parade route and “going from side to side, targeting people”.

The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad writes what happened next.

What happened at the Waukesha Christmas parade?

Everything we know about suspect Darrell Brooks

02:00 , Justin Vallejo

The suspect who is accused of plowing into a Christmas parade in Waukesha had been released on bail just a few days before the deadly attack, on charges of driving over an ex-partner.

Darrell Edward Brooks, 39, was taken into custody on Sunday night shortly after a red Ford Escape SUV drove into a the parade in the Wisconsin city, killing five and injuring 48 people, including 18 children aged 3 to 16.

According to criminal record searches, Mr Brooks was a longtime felon whose offending dated back to 1999. He has convictions for drug and firearm possession, strangulation, battery and resisting arrest, has been sentenced to two prison terms, and spent years on probation and under court supervision.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has the full background.

Suspect in Wisconsin Christmas parade attack identified as Darrell Brooks

Candlelight vigil held for victims

00:06 , Justin Vallejo

Hundreds of people are gathering in Cutler Park to remember the victims of suspected attacker Darrell Brooks, who is alleged to have ploughed through a Christmas parade on Sunday.

Five were killed and more than 40 more injured.

How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

Monday 22 November 2021 23:50 , Justin Vallejo

Officials in Waukesha, Wisconsin, said the parade, a “Norman Rockwell-type event” that the city had proudly hosted for decades for both residents and visitors, was part of its very fabric, writes The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe.

“With the state, and the nation, already on edge over the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, a proceeding that appears to have divided the nation, some commentators expressed a small degree of relief when police in Waukesha, 50 miles northwest of Kenosha, said they were not treating Sunday’s incident as terrorism.”

How a ‘Norman Rockwell-type’ Christmas parade turned into ‘senseless tragedy’

Brooks skipped bail on sex offender charge after impregnating 15-year-old: Reports

Monday 22 November 2021 22:53 , Justin Vallejo

Darrell Brooks was wanted in Nevada for failing to obey sex offender laws, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News.

Brooks was convicted of having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl and conceiving a child in 2006. He was arrested in 2016 for violating the terms of his probation but he never appeared in court, Fox News reported.

Brooks skipped bail on sex offender charge after impregnating 15-year-old: Reports

Monday 22 November 2021 22:53 , Justin Vallejo

Darrell Brooks was wanted in Nevada for failing to obey sex offender laws, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News.

Brooks was convicted of having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl and conceiving a child in 2006. He was arrested in 2016 for violating the terms of his probation but he never appeared in court, Fox News reported.

Marjorie Taylor Greene says Democrats to blame for Waukesha killings

Monday 22 November 2021 22:30 , Megan Sheets

Marjorie Taylor Greene says that the blame for the Waukesha killings lies with the mainstream media, Democrats, and Joe Biden, bizarrely claiming they incited the murder of five people Sunday night’s parade in the town.

The Georgia representative tweeted: “After the widespread hateful reaction to the Rittenhouse verdict & dog whistle calls to radical BLM ground troops by the mainstream media, Democrats, and even the President of the United States, we must ask if they incited the mass murder in Waukesha, WI.”

Ms Greene’s tweet ended with the words: “Intentional homicide”, which is what suspect Darrell Brooks has been charged with.

The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell reports:

Marjorie Taylor Greene bizarrely claims Democrats to blame for Waukesha killings

ICYMI: What happened at the Waukesha Christmas parade?

Monday 22 November 2021 22:10 , Megan Sheets

The Wisconsin city of Waukesha is in shock after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade at high speed at 4.39pm on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring 48 more.

The red Ford Escape SUV was captured on video driving straight towards marching cheerleaders and band members at around 40mph, hitting around 20 people and causing the crowd that had assembled to enjoy the 58th Annual Waukesha Holiday Parade to disperse in panic.

The driver has since been named as Milwaukee man Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, 39, who had only been out on bail for a few days after being arrested on 5 November on charges of domestic abuse, resisting an officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping. He has been convicted of several criminal offences since 1999.

The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad explains the tragedy:

What happened at the Waukesha Christmas parade?

PICTURED: Victim Virginia ‘Ginny’ Sorenson

Monday 22 November 2021 21:50 , Megan Sheets

One of the five victims killed in Sunday’s Christmas parade tragedy has been pictured.

Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, 79, was described by loved ones as the “beating heart” of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.

Virginia ‘Ginny’ Sorenson, 79, was the ‘beating heart’ of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies (Facebook)
Virginia ‘Ginny’ Sorenson, 79, was the ‘beating heart’ of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies (Facebook)

Her husband of 56 years David Sorenson told the Journal-Sentinel his wife, who had a bad back and dodgy hip, had initially been due to ride the route in a van. But as the grannies were short of numbers for the parade, Ms Sorenson had offered to hold a banner and march with them.

The Independent’s Helen Elfer reports:

Waukesha Christmas parade: First pictures released of victims named by police

Fire chief calls attack aftermath ‘a war zone'

Monday 22 November 2021 21:30 , Megan Sheets

The Waukesha fire chief likened the aftermath of Sunday’s Christmas parade attack to a “war zone”.

At an emotional press conference on Monday, Chief Steven Howard was asked to describe the scene moments after a red SUV barrelled down the parade route, killing five people and wounding 48 others.

“It was...carnage,” he said.

Mr Howard said many of the Wisconsin community’s first responders had turned out to watch the parade with their families, but ended up helping the injured after chaos erupted.

The Independent’s Megan Sheets and Namita Singh report:

‘There were pom-poms, shoes everywhere,’ says Waukesha attack witness

Darrell Brooks to face preliminary hearing on Tuesday

Monday 22 November 2021 21:10 , Megan Sheets

Darrell Brook’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 4pm CT on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old is facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, police said Monday.

More charges could be added as the investigation continues, police said.

Darrell Brooks is pictured in a mugshot provided by Wisconsin authorities (Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office)
Darrell Brooks is pictured in a mugshot provided by Wisconsin authorities (Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office)

Three victims were on Milwaukee Dancing Grannies team

Monday 22 November 2021 20:52 , Megan Sheets

Three of the victims killed in Sunday’s attack were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies team. They are: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; and Tamara Durand, 52.

A fourth victim, 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, was the husband of a team member and a volunteer with the group.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has the latest on the victims:

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies members among the dead in Waukesha parade attack

Father tells how he pushed daughter to safety

Monday 22 November 2021 20:30 , Megan Sheets

A father who witnessed the Christmas parade tragedy has revealed how pushed his daughter out of the path of the SUV that killed five people and injured 40 others.

Thomas Kluka Jr, who was at the parade with his wife and teenage daughter and a friend on Sunday, said he saw the SUV coming towards him when he yelled for his family to move.

“I noticed him coming through the crowd and I noticed something was not right”, Mr Kluka Jr told TODAY. “And then I seen kind of like just people flying as I stood up.

“I’m like ‘Oh no.’ My daughter stood up, I threw her out of the way, then I basically yelled, ‘Get out of the way,’ and my wife got out of the way”.

The Independent’s Gino Spocchia reports:

Father reveals how he pushed daughter out of harm’s way at Waukesha parade

Probe launched into how suspect was freed from jail on ‘inappropriately low’ bail days before parade

Monday 22 November 2021 20:10 , Megan Sheets

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation into how Darrell Brooks came to be released from jail on an “inappropriately low” bail just days before the fatal Waukesha Christmas parade.

As officials charged the 39-year with five counts of “intentional homicide” over the incident, that left five people dead and injured 48, it was revealed he had been released from jail 10 days earlier.

Reports said Mr Brooks had been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others, most recently on 5 November.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports:

Probe into why Waukesha suspect freed on ‘inappropriately low’ bail days

Officer who shot at suspect’s vehicle is placed on administrative leave

Monday 22 November 2021 19:45 , Megan Sheets

An officer who opened fire on suspect Darrell Brooks’ vehicle in an attempt to stop it after it plowed into the parade crowd has been placed on administrative leave.

Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson confirmed the leave at Monday’s press conference, adding that no one was injured in the officer’s gunfire.

“When the suspect was driving through and into the crowd, one officer did discharge his firearm and fire shots at the suspect to stop the threat but due to the amount of people, had to stop, stop and fire — not fire any other additional shots,” Mr Thompson said.

Police rule out terror attack

Monday 22 November 2021 19:15 , Megan Sheets

Authorities have determined the parade attack was not an incident of terrorism, Police Chief Daniel Thompson said at Monday’s press conference.

Mr Thompson said suspect Darrell Brooks had been involved in a “domestic dispute” prior to the crash but said he was not being pursued by police at the time.

He is now facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports:

Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy was ‘not a terrorist event’, police chief says

Police give case update at press conference

Monday 22 November 2021 19:06 , Megan Sheets

Waukesha Police held a press conference about the tragedy at 1pm CT on Monday and announced the injured toll had risen from 40 to 48.

Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson read off the names of the five people killed: Virginia Sorenson, 79; Leanna Owens, 71; Tamara Duran, 52; James Coolidge, 52; and Wilhem Hospel, 82.

The Independent’s Helen Elfer reports:

Victims of Waukesha Christmas parade incident named by police

Biden speaks out on parade tragedy

Monday 22 November 2021 18:56 , Megan Sheets

President Joe Biden addressed the parade tragedy in remarks from the White House on Monday afternoon.

“While we don’t have all the facts and details yet, we know this morning that five families in Waukesha are facing fresh grief of a life without a loved one,” he said.

“At least 40 Americans are suffering from injuries, some of them in critical condition, and an entire community is struggling, struggling to cope with the horrific act of violence.”

He continued: “Last night the people of Waukesha were gathered to celebrate the start of a season of hope and togetherness and Thanksgiving. This morning Jill and I and the entire Biden family, and I’m sure all of us pray that that same spirit is going to embrace and lift up all the victims of this tragedy, bringing comfort to those recovering from their injuries and wrapping the families of those who died in support of their community.

“We’re all grateful to the extraordinary work of first responders from law enforcement to the emergency room doctors, who are working around the clock to deal with the terrible consequence of what happened last night. My administration is monitoring the situation very closely.”

Driver’s former attorney won’t represent him in parade case

Monday 22 November 2021 18:40 , Megan Sheets

A lawyer who has represented Darrell Brooks in multiple past cases has said he will not do so in the parade case.

Attorney Joe Domask told Fox News on Monday: “I do not represent Mr Brooks in any matters in Waukesha County or regarding the incident that occurred yesterday in Waukesha County. Nor will I be doing so in the future.”

He added: “Here at Domask Law, our hearts are broken for all families affected by the tragedy at the Waukesha Parade. The Waukesha community is dear to our hearts here and we joined in their sorrow. And we keep all those affected by this incident in our thoughts and prayers.”

District attorney considering suspect's criminal record in setting bail

Monday 22 November 2021 18:17 , Megan Sheets

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office has officially named Darrell Brooks as the parade crash suspect and confirmed his prior criminal record.

The office issued a press release midday Monday announcing it will consider Mr Brooks rap sheet in determining how high his bail should be.

The release cited two prior infractions, the first being a July 2020 arrest for reckless endangerment and felon in possession of a firearm. His $7,500 bail in that case was lowered to $500 in February after the court was unable to meet his demand for a speedy trial.

Mr Brooks posted that bail and was arrested again earlier this month on charges of reckless endangerment, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. His bail in the second case was set at $1,000, and he was released last Friday.

The DA’s office said it is conducting a review to determine an appropriate bail amount for the pending charges for the parade crash, given the charges previously levied against him.

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