Waukesha Police identify suspect in Christmas Parade crash, 5 counts of homicide expected

11/22/2021 By Rhiannon Melton

Waukesha Police identified Darrell Brooks as the lone suspect in the Waukesha Christmas Parade crash. The crash left at least 5 dead and 48 injured, after a driver sped through those marching in the Waukesha parade. Charges will be formally filed Tuesday afternoon, but 5 counts of intentional homicide are expected.   

Image Courtesy of MGN

Brooks fled a domestic dispute in his SUV minutes before the crash occurred, Waukesha’s Chief of Police, Dan Thompson, announced in a press conference on Monday.  The chief said Brooks wasn’t being chased at the time of the crash but refused to release information regarding his motive. 

Police Chief Thompson said there was no evidence of terrorism or that Brooks knew anyone in the parade.  

Brooks, a Milwaukee resident, has been charged with 16 crimes since 1999.  Two of these cases were ongoing at the time of the parade tragedy.  

One case, filed in early November, accuses Brooks of intentionally running over an elderly woman with his SUV.  Brooks was recently released from prison following these accusations, after paying a $1,000 bail.  The Milwaukee County Attorney’s Office says the $1,000 bail was “excruciatingly low” for the crime committed.  The DA’s office is looking into the matter. 

The Christmas Parade crash was captured by the city’s live stream and witnesses’ cell phones.  Jordan Woylnilko, a Milwaukee resident who tweeted a video of the crash, described the horror to FOX News, “There were moms and dads yelling for their kids, people running around…When I rewatched the video, I could hear people talking, and they were like, ‘There’s 8 people injured down there. ‘We need an ambulance over here.’ There’s one lady on the ground crying.”      

The crash left 5 dead and over 40 injured. The dead have been identified as 52 to 79-year-old women and an 81-year-old man.  Members of the Dancing Grannies, who perform at the parade yearly, and a local bank teller were among the victims

Police identified those killed as Virginia Sorensen, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.  

Multiple victims remain in critical condition following the crash, including at least 6 children, AP News reports.  Casualties may increase as hospitals provide more information, officials say.