The man who carried out the attack during a parade was free on bail and had a long criminal record
It was time to comfort each other and enjoy, as the Christmas carol ‘Comfort and Joy’ encourages, which gave its name to the Waukesha Christmas Parade. The celebration, with a long tradition in this city of 70,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Milwaukee (Wisconsin), was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but this year “the baby Jesus to save us from the devil” had not yet been born, he sang the municipal band. It was 4:40 in the afternoon local time when the laughter turned into screams and the street was strewn with corpses and moaning bodies.
The devil was not wearing red horns and a pitchfork, but he was wearing a red minivan that sped down the main zigzag street, overwhelming the families who had brought their children to watch the parade. The initial figure of five dead and 48 injured, at least half children, may fall short, authorities have warned. Four of the five deceased were septuagenarians and octogenarians, some members of the group ‘Las Abuelas Danzantes’, who appeared in state parades “to make people smile and remind us never to stop doing what we like,” he wrote. the group on Facebook in admitting the loss.
The horror of that infernal cavalcade will remain forever etched in the minds of thousands of children who witnessed it and in the bodies of the eighteen who are admitted to intensive care. “I don’t think I’ll be able to take my family on a horseback ride ever again,” Allen Kind, a teacher who helped helplessly run over children, told NBC.
The 39-year-old attacker had already hit his son’s mother with his vehicle three weeks ago
The Police rule out that the event, which also left 48 injured, is a terrorist attack
Behind the wheel was Darrell E. Brooks Jr, a 39-year-old felon on bail who has a long criminal record spanning 20 years in three different states. That includes running over his son’s mother less than three weeks ago. On Sunday he fled the scene of a crime in which he had exchanged knives, “drove directly through the police barricade”, entered behind the parade and tried to circumvent the musicians to chase the public for hundreds of meters. The street was turned “into a real carnage, like a war zone,” Police Chief Steven Howard described Monday.
There is no doubt that Brooks had long ago turned his vehicle into another attack weapon. In the most recent of the five complaints of mistreatment he faced, the agents who came to the scene found his partner with a bloody face, a split lip and the marks of the wheels still on his pants. The judge released him on bail of just a thousand dollars, an “inappropriately low” price, the prosecutor’s office said Monday. Officers don’t believe he was looking for someone in the crowd. He did not know any of the victims, as far as is known, nor was anyone in particular pursuing him. “We are clear that this was not a terrorist attack and that he was acting alone,” determined Police Chief Daniel Thompson.
Blood and chaos
It had many side streets that it could have avoided the crowds on, but it continued to accelerate despite the bodies it threw into the air and the chairs it left crushed on the asphalt. Within seconds the vibrant scene turned bloody and chaotic. It was barely 40 minutes since the parade had begun. To those who marched ahead came the shouts that no longer sounded like the celebratory laughter they left behind. Many thought it was a shooting and rushed to flee with their children hand in hand without waiting to see what happened. The street was strewn with blankets, shoes and bags from those who had waited for that moment for hours, on a freezing November afternoon when they thought they would forget the year of the pandemic to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family.
“We are a very close-knit community, many families have participated in that parade for generations, we will not allow it to be defined by the horrible events of last night -for Sunday-“, decided the mayor, Shawn Reilly, when announcing a collective vigil. “The healing has to start now.”
Brooks faces five counts of first-degree manslaughter, Thompson announced, but with the number of people left on the brink of death and the investigation just opened, the allegations may increase. Witnesses, who initially believed that it was an accident, have stated that the car returned to the center of the road and seemed to seek to do as much damage as possible, although no one knows if it was a deranged escape or if it was seeking revenge for happiness. alien.
Kenosha, fifty miles away, protests against Rittenhouse
Wisconsin was already agitated for another reason that has nothing to do with the drama experienced this Monday. It is about the acquittal last Thursday of Kyle Rittenhouse, a young man who shot and killed two men last year during anti-racist protests in Kenosha, about 50 miles from Waukesha. In fact, 500 members of the National Guard were sent to the city to prevent violent acts by the jury’s decision. However, the demonstrations have not sparked the feared riots. On Sunday, dozens of people rallied in the US city against the verdict. Among the participants was Justin Blake, uncle of Jacob Blake, the black man whose death at the hands of the police last year sparked protests in which Rittenhouse appeared armed with the alleged aim of protecting property from the riots.