December 3, 2021

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At Least 5 Dead, More Than 40 Injured In Waukesha Christmas Parade After Vehicle Plows Through Marchers – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Five people were killed and more than 40 people were injured during the Waukesha Christmas Parade after a vehicle plowed into the parade route Sunday, police confirm.

As of 9:55 a.m. Monday, Children’s Wisconsin reported treating 18 children who were injured during the parade. Children’s Wisconsin said the children injured ranged in age from 3 to 16 years old and included three sets of siblings.

READ MORE: Waukesha Christmas Parade: What We Know So Far

Health officials said the 18 children treated suffered injuries from facial abrasions and broken bones, to serious head injuries. Six of the patients were sent to surgery last night and two additional patients are undergoing surgery Monday.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said there is a person of interest in custody. The suspect in the Waukesha Christmas Parade has been identified as Darrell Brooks, according to AP. 

He was taken into custody after a Waukesha police officer opened fire to try to stop the vehicle, authorities said.

Two law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized the discuss the matter publicly, identified the person as 39-year-old Brooks.

Online court records showed a person named Darrell Brooks, with a birthdate making him 39, has two open criminal cases in Milwaukee County. In one case, filed Nov. 5, he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless homicide, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery. Records show $1,000 bond was posted on Friday.

Debris litters the street at a crime scene on November 21, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Performing group, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies posted on Facebook saying their members were among those killed at the parade. The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, who range in age from early 50s to mid 70s, performs in 25 parades a year.

In the post, the group stated:

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

Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed… 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.”

Police have not identified the victims.

Police say the driver of the vehicle drove through barricades and into the parade. Sources tells CBS News that the driver may have been fleeing a separate crime scene.

Graphic video posted online shows a red SUV drive into the parade, striking a number of people, including members of a high school marching band. Others can be seen running away and screaming as the SUV continued on while others run to the aid of victims lying in the road.

“Today we experienced a horrible senseless tragedy,” said Waukesha  Mayor Shawn Reilly. “My heart goes out to all those affected by this senseless act. “

Photos posted by CBS 58 show what appears to be the red SUV parked outside a home after the incident.

READ MORE: Thieves Break Into Several ATMs Overnight In Sauganash, Skokie, Lincolnwood

The police chief confirmed a “suspect vehicle” was recovered. The SUV recovered from 338 Maple Avenue.

Credit: Abby Brinkman

Another video posted on Twitter showed a number small groupings on the street providing aid to injured individuals lying on the ground.

Thompson said some of those injured were taken by police to hospitals, and others were taken by family members.

Police in Waukesha are urging people to avoid the downtown area. CBS 2’s Marissa Parra noted a number of streets blocked off in the area in the aftermath. Thompson said roads will remain closed in the area for 24 hours.

Witnesses originally reported hearing shots fired during the incident. Police now confirm those shots came from an officer. They do not believe anyone inside the vehicle fired any shots and say no bystanders were injured.

Police cordon off a crime scene on November 21, 2021 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Thompson said the officer who fired his weapon has been with the department for 6.5 years.

A witness who was at the parade described the scene, saying many of those injured were in parade costumes.

“I could see kids on the ground, little bodies on the street. I’m still in shock.”

School is canceled Monday for the School District of Waukesha for all students in grades 4K to 12, according to a letter sent out by the district superintendent. There will also be additional counselors available during the school day at all buildings for students who need support.

A decision will be made regarding Tuesday during the day on Monday, the letter said.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee addressed the tragedy with the following statement:

Our prayers are with the people who have been injured and killed during the tragic incident in Waukesha.

Among the injured are one of our Catholic priests, as well as multiple parishioners and Waukesha Catholic school children.

Please join us in prayer for all those involved, their families, and those who are traumatized from witnessing the horrible scene.

Police plan to release additional updates at a news conference at 1 p.m. on Monday.

MORE NEWS: Suspect In Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy Identified As Darrell Brooks, Sources Tell AP

Waukesha is located just west of Milwaukee.
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