Darrell Brooks, a 39-year-old Milwaukee resident, is a person of interest in the Waukesha Christmas Parade accident, according to reports from local law enforcement. Whether or not Brooks was the SUV driver who plowed into the crowd this weekend, countless questions remain.
After driving a red SUV into the parade on Sunday, killing five people and injuring 40 others, the unknown driver sped off. Authorities are trying to understand what happened.
Reports from law enforcement have confirmed that Darrell Brooks was brought in for questioning as a person of interest, but no charges have been made and he was not formally arrested or accused of the crime. He is not yet labeled as a suspect but was brought in due to his history of endangering safety.
According to court records, Darrell Brooks was arrested and posted bond just this past Friday on charges of domestic abuse. Newsweek reported that he also faces charges of recklessly endangering safety, battery, bail jumping, resisting or obstructing an officer, and “possession of a firearm while convicted of a felony in a separate case filed last year.”
It is unknown where Darrell Brooks was during the Waukesha Christmas Parade accident, or if he is responsible for the tragedy, but law enforcement sources confirmed that he was brought in for questioning.
On Sunday night, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said that the red SUV had been located, and that a “person of interest” was in custody. He assured the town that he believed there was no further threat to the community, but did not reveal any suspects or potential motive.
Investigators believe that the driver may have been may have been fleeing another incident at the time, described as a “knife fight,” when he accidentally sped through the parade. So far there have been no suspects, but authorities revealed that they do not believe the incident has any connection to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in Wisconsin, or domestic terrorism.
“This is still a very fluid investigation,” Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson stated, but acknowledged that for those worried, “the scene is now safe and secure.”
In video of the driver entering the parade obtained by CNN, the red SUV can be seen barreling down the street at high speed before coming into contact with parade attendees. Officers then quickly arrived behind the driver, with many marching bands and parade members unaware of what happened in front of them.
“Today we experienced a horrible, senseless tragedy,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said at Sunday’s press conference. “I walked in the parade at the beginning. I saw all the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw all the happy parents behind their children. I can still see the smiling faces.”
Angela O’Boyle, a town resident who lives in an apartment that overlooked the Waukesha Christmas Parade route, told CNN that she witnessed the horrific accident that day, as the red SUV driver plowed through the parade.
“The next thing I heard were screams, and turned my head and saw the car come and plow into the band that was just past my balcony at that point,” she said. “It hit at least two people right away and rolled over them, and then continued down the road to People’s Park which is at the end of the block… and then kept going, it didn’t stop.”
“It was not something that I wanted to see,” O’Boyle stated, recalling how she heard people screaming their children’s names in the street.
According to CNN, most roads in Waukesha will be closed off as the investigation continues, and the White House has been briefed about the tragedy.
Schools have been closed Monday, and possibly Tuesday as well, since many children were among the injured at Waukesha Christmas Parade accident.
“Today, I’ve ordered the U.S. and Wisconsin flags to be flown at half-staff,” Governor Tony Evers wrote on Twitter. “We continue to pray for the Waukesha community and the kids, loved ones, and neighbors whose lives were forever changed by an unthinkable tragedy.”