The victims included Virginia Sorenson, 79, the group’s choreographer; Leanna Owen, 71, a dancer; and Tamara Durand, 52, a brand new member performing for the primary time. Additionally killed have been a dancer’s husband, Wilhelm Hospel, 81, and Jane Kulich, 52, a Residents Financial institution teller.
The motive for the assault is unclear.
Chief Thompson mentioned Mr. Brooks deliberately struck folks together with his automotive after fleeing a home dispute probably involving a knife. Cops have been responding, although not pursuing Mr. Brooks, when he veered into the parade route, officers mentioned.
Chief Thompson mentioned there was no indication that Mr. Brooks knew anybody marching within the parade, nor was there any signal that the incident was an act of terrorism.
The suspect had not too long ago been launched from jail.
Mr. Brooks had been arrested repeatedly in Wisconsin for the reason that Nineties, accused at completely different factors of battery and home abuse and resisting the police. This month, prosecutors in Milwaukee mentioned, he deliberately ran over a lady he knew with a maroon Ford Escape. Prosecutors in Milwaukee County mentioned they’d erred in recommending a $1,000 money bail in that case.
The assault marred a beloved vacation custom.
Mayor Shawn Reilly described the march down Fundamental Road as “a Norman Rockwell kind of Christmas parade” that has been a cherished occasion in Waukesha for many years, with highschool bands and dance troupes and native politicians all strolling by way of city. Residents have been particularly excited for this yr’s iteration after the parade was referred to as off in 2020 due to Covid-19. Greater than 60 entries, from the Fireplace Division to the Waukesha Outdated Automotive Membership to Santa Claus, had signed up for the parade.
“That parade turned a nightmare,” Mr. Reilly mentioned on Monday. “Lives have been misplaced throughout the center of what ought to have been a celebration.”
It’s unknown why Mr. Brooks was in Waukesha.
Chief Thompson mentioned Mr. Brooks had been concerned in a home dispute shortly earlier than he drove by way of the parade. However the police didn’t reply to questions on precisely the place that dispute happened, or why they imagine that Mr. Brooks had come to Waukesha within the first place. In courtroom information, Mr. Brooks normally listed addresses in Milwaukee, about 20 miles east of Waukesha.
Giulia Heyward contributed reporting.