By Lisa Zengarini
At least five people died and more than forty were injured on Sunday afternoon after a SUV car crashed at high speed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, a town some 30 kilometres from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A man suspected of being the driver of the car is presently detained in custody.
Praying for the victims and their families
According to a press statement from the Communication Director of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a priest and several Catholic parishioners, including many children of a local Catholic school were among those injured. The Archdiocese has invited the faithful to join in prayer for all those involved, their families, and those who are traumatized from witnessing the tragic event.
Suspect in custody
The incident took place around 4:30 pm local time during a parade that kicks off the Christmas season and which is one of the biggest events in the city. According to some witnesses, the SUV that hit the parade accelerated right behind a school band.
Footage posted on social networks shows the car arriving at great speed in the area. In other images, the vehicle is seen escaping after breaking through barriers. According to the police, an officer fired his weapon in an attempt to stop the SUV.
The arrested suspect is 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks Jr, an African American citizen involved in a number of serious crimes who was released two days ago on bail. The investigation is ongoing to determine whether or not the SUV was leaving another crime scene when it crashed into the parade. According to local officials, terrorist motives or links to the recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse are unlikely.
The names of the victims will not be released until their families are informed and public schools will be closed in the town on Monday.