On Sunday, a red SUV plowed into the participants of the Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Because the investigation was still fluid, not much more was known. In the following 24 hours, a lot of information became known.
Five people were killed in the tragedy and another 48 people were injured. Eighteen of the injured were children, six of whom are still in intensive care. The five fatalities ranged in age from 52 to 82 years old. Four of the deceased were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
The driver of the SUV has been identified as 39 year old Darrell Brooks, Jr. of Milwaukee. He is still in police custody and will be charged with five counts of intentional homicide and might be facing other charges as well. The incident was not terror related, nor was it in relation to the Rittenhouse verdict. Law enforcement officials said that Brooks was fleeing from the scene of a knife fight he was involved in. It is also being reported that he was out on bail for another incident of domestic violence at the time of the Christmas Parade tragedy.
On Monday evening, several communities gathered at local churches and parks to hold a vigil for those killed and to support the survivors and each other in these traumatic times.
Waukesha schools are not holding classes for at least Monday and Tuesday, but will be open to students who need to speak with a counselor to process the trauma they might have experienced due to the tragedy, either directly or indirectly.
Also, a fund to help the victims of the tragedy has been established. The fund will help with funeral costs, medical expenses and psychological therapy costs. They have already raised over a half million dollars. Anyone wishing to donate to this fund can do so at this donation site.
This incident is also having a large ripple effect throughout the state.
Menomonee Falls has canceled their parade outright due to safety concerns and out of respect to the people of Waukesha:
“It would be very hard to march in the parade, which would normally be a very joyous time, knowing that many people have been seriously injured and five have died,” Menomonee Falls Village President Dave Glasgow said. “We stand in solidarity with our Waukesha friends and mourn with them the injured and those who lost their lives.”
Residents possibly being too “terrified” to attend the parade also factored into the decision, he said.
Many communities are still weighing their options, from canceling their parades to heightened security. The City of Appleton will be holding a silent procession after the regular parade to honor the victims in Waukesha.