/ 23 November 2021

Death at the Christmas parade

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

The happy occasion attended by families from suburban Milwaukee in Wisconsin has become anything but when an SUV was driven at high speed into the crowd, killing at least 5 people. Their identities are yet to be released. Another 40 people, including at least 12 children and members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, were injured and taken to hospital. The driver is Darrell Brooks – he’s been taken into custody, and his car was recovered about 30km from the city. Reports say it does not appear to be an act of terrorism.

Waukesha was celebrating its annual Christmas parade – think marching bands and dancing girls with pom-poms performing for crowds lining the main street. This year’s parade theme was “comfort and joy”. At 4.40pm, Brooks drove his car into the area at high speed and ploughed into performers and crowd members. Reports say a policeman fired his gun in a failed effort to stop the car, but he got away. The horror was recorded on the city’s livestream and on the mobile phones of onlookers. An eyewitness said the car struck a local dance team of 9-15yo girls. One man said he heard what at first sounded like cheering but then realised it was screaming.

Police will address the media this morning on that point, but reports say Brooks was fleeing another scene – possibly a knife fight. It’s a sign of the times that terrorism was where many minds went yesterday, but a city representative said the family-friendly event wasn’t controversial – or political. Schools did not open on Monday, and trauma counsellors are being brought in to help.

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