WAUKESHA, Wis. — The man suspected of plowing his SUV into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people and injuring 48, is now facing five intentional homicide charges and other offenses.
Police Chief Dan Thompson has identified the driver as 39-year old Darrell Brooks of Milwaukee.
Thompson says there is no evidence the crash on Sunday was a terrorist attack.
Thompson identified those killed as four women ages 52 to 79 and an 81-year-old man. Members of the “Dancing Grannies” club were among those killed, as was an employee of Citizens Bank.
According to the chief, police were not pursuing the suspect when he entered the parade route, but an officer did fire a shot to try to stop him but ceased firing because of the danger to others. The driver was not injured.
The joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms gave way in an instant Sunday to screams and the sight of crumpled bodies as the SUV sped through barricades and struck dancers, musicians and others.
At least nine patients — most of them children — were listed in critical condition Monday at two hospitals, and seven others were reported in serious condition.
Online court records showed that Brooks has two open criminal cases in Milwaukee County. In one case, filed Nov. 5, he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangering, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery. Records show $1,000 cash bond was posted on Friday.
In the other case, filed in July 2020, Brooks is charged with reckless endangering and illegal possession of a firearm.
The Milwaukee County district’s attorney office emailed reporters copies of the criminal complaints in both of those cases. In the more recent one, a woman told police that Brooks deliberately ran her over with his vehicle in a gas station parking lot after a fight. She was hospitalized for her injuries.
The Waukesha school district canceled classes Monday and said extra counselors would be on hand for students and staff. The parade’s lineup included cheer, dance and band entries associated with district schools.
The parade, held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, is sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event, the 59th, had the theme of “comfort and joy.”
Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee.