Five dead in vehicular attack on Waukesha Christmas parade: Why?

This attack on a holiday event is insane, but was the perpetrator? So far the police remain mum on the identity of the suspect and any motive for the deaths of five people and injuries to dozens of others in Waukesha, Wisconsin. WISN has video of the moment that the man in a red SUV plowed through marchers in the Christmas parade, blurring in places where people were injured or killed:


A treasured rite of the holiday season turned into a scene of bloody, deadly mayhem late Sunday afternoon as a vehicle plowed into the Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing five people and injuring more than 40 others, authorities said.

Shortly before midnight, the City of Waukesha posted to its Twitter and Facebook accounts revised casualty totals.

“At this time, we can confirm that 5 people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” the statement said. “However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information.”

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said that around 4:39 p.m. a red SUV broke through the parade barriers and headed west on Main Street.

“The vehicle struck more than 20 individuals. Some of the individuals were children and there were some fatalities as a result of this incident,” he said.

A suspect vehicle was recovered and a “person of interest” was in custody, the police chief said. People were transported to hospitals via ambulances and police vehicles, he added.

Why would anyone conduct such an attack? Police are warning people not to speculate ahead of the evidence — not just the commanders but also the union:

The public needs to be cautious about speculating on a motive for Sunday evening’s Christmas parade horror in Waukesha, the president of the Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police told Fox News in an interview .

“Hours later, everything is still very fluid, right now,” Ryan Windorff said late Sunday. …

Law enforcement will now begin to develop a timeline of events to track the activity of the person believed to be driving the SUV, Windorff said.

“Law enforcement is going to want to retrace the incident from the first sign of it at the parade, but even go back before that in the days and weeks before leading up to it,” he explained.


About the only thing we know for sure is that it’s clearly a deliberate act, not an accident. Police are also mum about the identity of the subject, but Heavy claims to have identified him from police scanners as Darrell Brooks, Jr:

Police squads were at a Milwaukee address used by Darrell Brooks Jr. after his name was mentioned on the scanner in connection with the Waukesha parade incident in which at least 40 people, including many children, were injured when a red Ford Escape plowed through the crowd. He complained of shoulder pain when taken into custody.

Heavy confirmed that two Milwaukee police squads were outside the home listed to Brooks on N. 19th St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Heavy also obtained audio from the scanner indicating Waukesha police obtained an ID in the name Darrell Brooks Jr. inside the red Ford Escape they recovered in connection with the Waukesha parade investigation. He also goes by the name Darrell E. Brooks Jr., and Darrell Edward Brooks, Jr. He is 39-years-old. He had prolific social media accounts, but some have already been deleted.

The usual breaking-news caveats apply as usual, and perhaps even more so in this instance. Anyone remember when the New York Post wrongly “identified” the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? If it is Darrell Brooks Jr, though, he does make for an interesting suspect — although his social media postings may or may not be a distraction. Heavy reports that Brooks’ social media had lots of commentary on the Rittenhouse trial, but whose didn’t? He also wrote about Derek Chauvin (again, who didn’t?) and also offered some anti-police commentary. According to Andy Ngo, there was more on his feeds than just random popular causes:


However, it’s possible that politics had little to do with it, or even with Brook’s dislike of the police. If Brooks is indeed the suspect, he had open felony cases in Wisconsin, including resisting an officer and felony bail jumping. Reporters from CBS and NBC had heard he might have been fleeing police after a knife fight nearby:

The motive is not clear. David Begnaud of CBS news tweeted that, according to a law enforcement official, the parade suspect was “fleeing another scene – possibly a knife fight” before injuring 40 people in the parade. “Several LE sources say preliminary: Wisconsin incident appears to be vehicle fleeing a separate crime scene (stabbing) when it plowed into parade. One person in custody. Investigation ongoing but so far no initial link to terror or the recent Rittenhouse verdict w/@tom_winter,” NBC reporter Jonathan Dienst wrote on Twitter.

The Associated Press reported this morning that police are considering this a possibility. That certainly could be one reason why police are cautioning against speculation on motive. It may not be a case of a deliberate attack motivated by a specific animus but rather a situation where a fleeing suspect had a depraved indifference to the lives of others in an attempt to get away. Or it could be both.


Ff it is Brooks, a Wisconsin court might have some explaining to do:

Darrell E. Brooks Jr. of 19th Street has open charges filed November 5, 2021, in Milwaukee courts for resisting an officer (misdemeanor), felony bail jumping, second degree recklessly endangering safety (felony) with domestic abuse assessments, disorderly conduct and battery (both misdemeanors, also with domestic abuse assessments.)

He posted $1,000 cash bail on November 19, 2021.

That’s despite the fact he has another open felony case in Milwaukee County, from 2020.

Why would someone accused of felony bail jumping be allowed out on $1000 bail? Even if Brooks doesn’t turn out to be the suspect in this attack, someone should answer for that alone. But if he is the suspect, people in Waukesha will demand to know why a court allowed him out two days before the attack on such a low bail amount when charged with two felonies and violent crime allegations, and with another felony case pending before that. Five people might still be alive and more than forty people healthy and happy.

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John Stossel 12:40 AM | April 12, 2024