The Police have ruled out on Monday that the massive accident on Sunday, which left 5 dead and 48 injured in Waukesha (Wisconsin, USA) during a Christmas parade in which there were numerous families with children, was a terrorist attack.
At around 4:39 p.m. local time (10:39 p.m. GMT) on Sunday, a man aboard a red SUV-type SUV knocked down several fences set up for the parade and rammed into the crowd, running over dozens of people, many of them minors. At the time, dance groups, school marching bands and politicians were marching down Main Street in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee, after this Christmas march was suspended last year due to the pandemic.
The suspect, who has been identified by authorities as Darren Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee, was detained by police at a location near where the incident occurred. To dispel any doubts about the motivations, Waukesha Police Department Chief Dan Thompson said right after a news conference began Monday that “there is no proof that this is a terrorist incident.”
“A domestic altercation” before the hit
The agent added that before ramming into the parade the driver of the vehicle was involved in “a domestic altercation.” The Washington Post newspaper, citing a security source, has stated that the suspect was fleeing a knife fight when he attacked the parade, which has not been confirmed by the police.
According to Thompson, Brooks sped jumping over the fences set up for the event, ignoring warnings from deployed officers. The Chief of Police explained that an officer tried to neutralize him by opening fire on him, in the middle of the accident, but due to the crowd gathered by the parade he had to stop shooting to avoid victims of the shots. That agent has been terminated “administratively.” Ultimately, Brooks was arrested by police not far from the area where the incident took place.
The authorities anticipated that they are going to file five counts of intentional murder in the first degree against the suspect, who risks spending the rest of his life in jail, since in Wisconsin this type of crime is punishable by life imprisonment.
A witness to the event, Jordan Woynilko, 35, explained to EFE by phone that he had come to see the parade with a friend and that they had entered a restaurant to go to the bathroom when they got out and saw the vehicle cross the street at all speed. “I saw on the other side of the street an SUV going through the parade and then people started screaming and some ran into the restaurant,” he said.
So she decided with her friend to go back to where she had her own car parked while recording the scene with her mobile phone. On that journey “we saw people helping some people who were hit (by the car), people around others who were lying on the ground, or looking for help or doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation),” the witness explained. . The deceased are four women and one man and their ages range between 52 and 81 years.
The “dancing grandmothers of Milwaukee”, among the deceased
The group The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, which at the time of the accident was parading, has confirmed on its Facebook page that several of its members lost their lives in the incident. “Our group was doing what they like, performing in front of crowds in a parade to put smiles on the faces of people of all ages, joy and happiness,” they said in a statement, in which they noted that the deceased were “grandmothers passionate “about their work, without specifying their number.
Also, among the injured there are many minors, at least 18 and some of them in critical condition. The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which only cares for pediatric patients, indicated this Monday on its Facebook page that it has treated at least 18 minors, between 3 and 16 years old. At the moment it is unknown if there are more children or adolescents admitted to other health centers in the area. In a press conference, doctors from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin detailed that the injuries of the minors treated range from facial abrasions and broken bones to serious head injuries. Six of the patients were operated last night, while another two are being operated this Monday, and two have been discharged.
At least six very seriously minors
Ten of the minors are in the intensive care unit: six of them are very serious, three are serious and one is stable.
Faced with this tragedy, US President Joe Biden took advantage of his speech at the White House on Monday to announce the nomination of Jerome Powell for a second term at the head of the Federal Reserve to offer comfort and ensure that he was following the situation in Waukesha “up close”.
“Last night people were walking and gathering to celebrate the beginning of a season of hope, togetherness and Thanksgiving. This morning, Jill (Biden) and I, and the whole Biden family, and I’m sure all of us, have prayed so that that spirit embraces and lifts the spirits of all the victims of this tragedy, “he said.
The president also thanked the rescue teams, the security forces and the doctors for their work, despite the difficult conditions in which they had to work, since, due to the strong winds, there was a power failure in Waukesha, which delayed the response of the emergency troops.