Man who drove car into Christmas parade had been involved in domestic disturbance

Five people were killed and 48 injured, including a number of children, in the incident in Wisconsin

Police believe that the individual who drove a speeding car into a Christmas parade in the US state of Wisconsin on Sunday acted alone and that it was not a terrorist attack.

Five people were killed and 48 , including a number of children, were injured in the incident in Waukesha, about 30km west of Milwaukee.

Waukesha police chief Daniel Thompson told a press conference on Monday that police had information that the suspect, prior to the incident, had been involved in a domestic disturbance.

He said the suspect, whom he identified as Darrell E Brooks (39), from Milwaukee, was not being pursued when the SUV vehicle crashed into people attending the Christmas parade. He said there was no evidence that the suspect, who is in police custody, knew anyone taking part in the parade.

He said a police officer had fired a shot to try to stop the car but had ceased firing because of the danger to others. “The lone subject intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades and into a crowd of people that was celebrating,” he said.

The suspect was to be charged with homicide, Mr Thompson said.

Victims

Police said four women and a man were killed in the incident on Sunday. They were identified as Wilhelm Hospel (81), Virginia Sorenson (79), Leanna Owens (71), Tamara Durand (52) and Jane Coolidge (52).

Among the victims were members of a group of "dancing grannies", according to a statement posted on Facebook on Monday.

Officials at the Children’s Wisconsin hospital said at a briefing on Monday that it had treated 18 children following the incident on Sunday, including six who remained in critical condition and three in serious condition. The rest were in fair condition or released.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee said a Catholic priest, parishioners and Waukesha Catholic schoolchildren were among those injured.

Waukesha mayor Shawn Reilly said the Christmas parade had been a feature of the city for about 60 years. "Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration."

The New York Times reported on Monday that Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office had said that Mr Brooks had been free on $1,000 bail after being accused of running over the mother of his child in the car park of a petrol station in the city with his maroon 2010 Ford Escape earlier this month.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office described the state’s bail recommendation as “inappropriately low” in light of the seriousness of the charges, and “not consistent” with office policy.

“This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps,” the statement said.

Community

The White House said President Joe Biden was receiving regular updates on the incident in Waukesha.

In a statement on Twitter the White House said: “Our team is in close touch with local officials to offer any support and assistance needed. Our hearts are with the families and the entire community.”

Dance groups and high school bands and politicians were marching along Main Street as part of the parade in Waukesha on Sunday afternoon.

Video released on social media showed just before 4.40pm a red SUV car driving at speed past barricades and into the crowd, striking dozens of people.