What we know about the Waukesha Christmas parade crash

Waukesha, a town outside Milwaukee is in mourning after a Sunday holiday procession took a sharp turn into tragedy. A man drove his vehicle over marchers in a Christmas parade, killing 5 and injuring 48. Stephanie Sy reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    A town outside Milwaukee is in mourning after a Sunday holiday procession took a sharp turn into tragedy. A man drove his vehicle over marchers, killing five and injuring 48.

    Stephanie Sy has our report.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    A child dancing on Main Street. A red SUV hurtles by, just missing her. This was the moment everything changed at the Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

    That SUV stormed past barricades, plowing through a crowd full of little kids, grandmas, and parade performers celebrating the return of the beloved tradition that COVID had canceled last year, this year's theme, comfort and joy.

  • Mark Rude, Eyewitness:

    People were crying. I'm sure I saw some people who saw their family members get hit. That really shook me too, because I can't imagine having to see that.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Cell phone videos captured the panicked moments.

  • Man:

    He got hit?

  • Man:

    Yes.

  • Man:

    Oh my God. OK, take care of him. There's paramedics outside.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Nineteen-year-old Jaden Singsime and his mother, Jodi, are still in shock.

  • Jaden Singsime, Eyewitness:

    It happened so suddenly and so quick. And the truck came out of nowhere. And, all of the sudden, you just hear the sound of people getting hit.

  • Jodie Singsime, Eyewitness:

    The sound was crazy.

  • Jaden Singsime:

    The sound was scarring, and so was the image of it, and just seeing — seeing that happen to innocent people and seeing the aftermath. Just what goes through your mind is just really pure confusion and anger.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    A police officer opened fire on the vehicle, but then stopped when he realized he was shooting near a crowd.

    Police arrested Darrell Brooks not far from the scene.

  • Dan Thompson, Waukesha, Wisconsin, Police Chief:

    I want to dispel some rumors. There was no pursuit that led up this incident. This is not a terrorist event.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Brooks has a lengthy police record and was out on bail on two criminal cases, including a charge that he deliberately ran down a woman with his car. They say he was fleeing a domestic disturbance when he careened through the parade.

    Brooks faces five counts of intentional homicide, for each person that died. The victims range in age from 52 to 81, Virginia Sorenson, LeAnna Owen, Tamara Durand, Jane Kulich, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81-year-old male.

    Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly faced his grieving community.

    Shawn Reilly, Mayor of Waukesha, Wisconsin: I saw all the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw all the happy parents behind their children. Today, our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Tonight, a number of children are in hospitals in critical or serious condition. And Main Street is a crime scene.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

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