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Wisconsin Police Say Parade Crash Suspect Was Involved in Domestic Disturbance

A person walks past a police car blocking Main Street the morning after a car ploughed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Nov. 22, 2021.

Police in the Midwestern U.S. state of Wisconsin say a suspect who drove into a Christmas parade, killing five people and injuring 48, had been involved in a domestic disturbance just minutes before the incident.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said during a press conference Monday there is no evidence the crash in the small city just west of Milwaukee was related to terrorism.

He said police received information that the suspect was involved in a domestic disturbance just prior to the incident but said police did not have time to respond to the complaint before the suspect left the scene and drove toward the parade.

This Nov. 3, 2021 photo provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks.
This Nov. 3, 2021 photo provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks.

Police say the annual Waukesha Christmas parade was underway in the downtown area late Sunday afternoon local time when the suspect drove his SUV through the parade route at high speed.

Thompson said the suspect, identified as Darrell Brooks, 39, was not being pursued by police at the time. Brooks, who is from Milwaukee, is being charged with five counts of intentional homicide.

Thompson said a police officer fired his weapon to try to stop the suspect from driving through the parade route, but stopped firing because of the danger to others. He said police had set up barricades at the entrance to the parade and had officers stationed there, but said the suspect drove through the barricades.

Those killed in the incident were identified as four women ages 52 to 79 and an 81-year-old man.

Hospital workers say of the 48 people injured, 10 children remain in intensive care.

Thompson said the suspect was apprehended after the incident and said, "We are confident he acted alone."

A local Milwaukee television station, citing police and court sources, said Brooks was released on Friday from jail after posting bail for earlier charges. The report said he had previously been arrested and charged with felony bail jumping, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct and battery.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.