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Some Journalists Identify Driver of SUV That Hit Wisconsin Christmas Parade, Killing 5, Injuring Dozens

In this image taken from video an SUV speeds past a young girl and others attending a Christmas parade and continues to drive through the parade, injuring multiple people, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Waukesha, Wis. (Jesus Ochoa via AP)

Police in Waukesha, Wisconsin have yet to release the name of the suspect in custody or a motive after an SUV plowed through a holiday parade, killing five and injuring more than 40.  

But some journalists are identifying the suspect as 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks, Jr.

A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats turned deadly in an instant Sunday afternoon, when a Red Ford Escape mowed through police barricades before slamming into a dozens of marchers, tossing many of them into the air. 

Video from the scene showed one toddler dancing in the road was almost hit when the SUV sped past.
Afterward, bystanders appeared to be in shock. Video showed young families turning their children away from the carnage as people began to weep. 

 "People were crying, said local parent Mark Rude. "I saw some people who saw their family members get hit. That really shook me too. Because I can't imagine having to see that." 

West Allis Alderman Angelito Tenorio said, "All of a sudden I heard a loud bang. The vehicle just struck a crowd of people on the parade route. And we heard deafening cries and screams."

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said they have a "person of interest" in custody but did not release more details about the person or say whether police were looking for more possible suspects.

But the website Heavy.com said it had obtained information from the police scanner that the man did identify himself to police as 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks, Jr.

And New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz tweeted she could confirm Brooks is in custody.

An eyewitness who spoke to a Wisconsin TV station described the appearance of the driver as similar to Brooks' appearance.

"It was a black guy in dreadlocks by himself. I don't know if you want to use that. And hey, I'm a black guy," the man said on a live broadcast.

Police haven't said what triggered the driver to plow through the parade or whether it was connected to terrorism.

There are reports the suspect was fleeing a crime scene when he drove through the parade.

A police officer did fire at the SUV to try to stop it.

 "An officer did discharge his weapon at the suspect's vehicle to try to stop the vehicle," Chief Thompson said.
Local families now dealing with dead or injured friends and relatives, and others are left shaken by what they witnessed. 

"It was so close to actually losing my children," Rude said. "Children go in the road to get the candy and they were saying that they want to get the candy."

Public schools in Waukesha are closed today as local police work with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to try to figure out exactly what happened.  

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