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US Christmas parade tragedy suspect being charged with 5 counts of murder

06:18 23 November 2021 Author :  

The man suspected of plowing an SUV through a crowded Christmas parade in the state of Wisconsin is being charged Monday with five counts of intentional homicide, and is expected to face additional charges. 

Authorities identified the suspect as Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, and Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said he "intentionally" drove the vehicle through barricades and into the crowd of people in the Milwaukee suburb. Additional charges would be forthcoming "based on the investigation" that is underway, he said.

Brooks Jr. was taken into custody a "short distance" from the scene and police said they are confident he acted alone.

"There's no evidence this is a terrorist incident," said Thompson.

On Sunday, five people were killed and 48 other victims were injured when a red Ford SUV slammed through a crowded parade in Waukesha. The deceased were identified as four elderly women aged 52 to 79 who were part of a "Dancing Grannies" club, and an 81-year-old man.

Two of the victims who were injured are children and they are in critical condition, according to the police chief.

Brooks Jr. was involved in what police are calling a "domestic disturbance" just minutes before the parade tragedy. An officer attempted to stop the vehicle and fired shots but stopped shooting due to the number of bystanders nearby, said Thompson.

Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reily sharply denounced the "senseless tragedy," saying the "Norman Rockwell-type Christmas parade" was transformed into "a nightmare" on Sunday.

"Last night lives were lost during the middle of what should have been a celebration," he said. "All who were there were traumatized. We experienced a horrific tragedy. We have so much healing that needs to occur."/agencies

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