Waukesha, Wis. – At least five people are confirmed dead and more than 40 people injured after the driver of a red Ford Escape SUV plowed through crowds at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., law enforcement officials confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
Identities of those who tragically succumbed to wounds from the attack have not yet been made public, however it is confirmed that many of those injured were children.
According to Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson, a person of interest is in custody, however they have not yet confirmed a suspect. Police say there is no further threat and the SUV has been recovered by authorities.
Law enforcement has reportedly arrested Darrell E. Brooks, 39, as the person of interest. According to court documents, Brooks was released from jail two days before the incident for three misdemeanors and two felonies. Brooks has a history of domestic violence, battery, bail-jumping felony, and 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, and disorderly conduct.
Multiple Twitter users have also claimed that the vehicle in question is the same one featured in music videos made by Brooks who is allegedly a rapper.
As a high school dance group and marching band made their way down Main Street during a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., the attacker drove the red Ford Escape SUV past barricades and through the crowd, striking dozens of marchers, including children.
A video posted on Twitter shows the vehicle plowing through police barriers and entering the road just behind a school marching band, according to an account described by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Waukesha Police confirmed that officers fired shots at the driver who was seen driving through dozens of Christmas parade-goers.
“As we were walking back in between the buildings that we saw an SUV crossover, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route,” Angelito Tenorio, a candidate for Wisconsin state treasurer, told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle. And then, and then we saw people running away or stooping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle.”
All Waukesha public schools will be closed on Monday, according to the city police department. It is unknown whether the incident was a response to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Rittenhouse was acquitted after being accused of fatally shooting two rioters in Kenosha, which is located one hour from Waukesha.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.