Authorities arrested 39-year-old Darrell E. Brooks as the only suspect in the violent incident. Brooks was supposedly fleeing a crime, according to law enforcement officials. He as been charged with five counts of first-degree homicide, but that could be changed to six after Tuesday’s news of an 8-year-old boy had died from his injuries.
Brooks appeared before a judge on Tuesday (Nov. 23) were he could be seen weeping serval times while the charges were read aloud. Each charge carries a mandatory life prison sentence. The judge set Brooks bail at five million dollars.
The possible motive for this violent attack is still unknown.
On Monday Waukesha Police Department released the names of those who were killed, 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, 52-year-old Jane Kulich, and 81-year-old Wilhem Hospel. At this time the young boy’s name has not been released.
In one video, a police officer can be seen opening fire on the vehicle as it pushed through a barricade toward the end of the parade. It is unknown whether any of the shots hit Brooks or the vehicle.
The Waukesha County Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County have created a fund together called the “United for Waukesha Community Fund,” to help support the families in need who were affected by Sunday’s tragic incident.
Due to the graphic nature of the videos, ChurchLeaders has decided not to post footage of the incident.
Faith Leaders and Others Respond
Franklin Graham tweeted about the incident, requesting prayers for Waukesha and saying, “Pray for Waukesha, Wisconsin, this evening as multiple deaths and injuries are reported as a result of a vehicle plowing through the crowd gathered at their Christmas parade.”
Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Gainesville, Georgia’s Free Chapel, said, “Let’s keep Waukesha, Wisconsin in our prayers tonight. Pray for the families, first responders, healthcare workers and everyone affected by today’s terrible tragedy.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers posted that he and his wife were praying for those affected, saying, “Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act. I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information.”
Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin tweeted, “The horrific violence at the Waukesha Christmas Parade is just heartbreaking. Please keep the victims in your prayers tonight.”
Waukesha County Sheriff wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the Waukesha Community affected by last night’s tragedy.”