This news has created many tears. Five adults died in Waukesha, Wisconsin and 18 children were in intensive care. Three were members of a Milwaukee dance troupe, which celebrated grandmothers. The group of women killed have pompom routines that have been a staple of local holiday parades since the 1980s. The troupe includes: the choreographer, Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71, a dancer; and Tamara Durand, 52, and a new member performing for the first time. In a Facebook post, the group said it was “devastated.”
The Chief Medical Officer of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Michael Gutzeit, said at a news conference on Monday, the 18 children had been brought to the hospital after the parade – all between the ages of 3 and 16. The medical director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, Dr. Michael Meyer, said 10 of them were in the I.C.U. and six were in critical condition.
More victims include three sets of siblings, said Dr. Amy Drendel, the medical director for the hospital’s emergency defense and trauma center. Their ailments range from facial abrasions to broken bones to serious head injuries. This news has been carried across traditional and social media.
The School District of Waukesha canceled classes for several days because of the tragedy. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said a priest was among the injured along with parishioners and students at a local Catholic school.
Mayor Shawn Reilly said, “Tonight I ask for your prayers.” The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office said it will file the initial charges Tuesday and additional charges at a later date. Brooks will appear in Waukesha County Court at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Darrell Brooks has been charged with the crimes. He has been involved with the law before. He has been arrested 10 times since 1999, including three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others. Most recently, Brooks was charged in a domestic abuse incident Nov. 5 for which he was also charged with resisting or obstructing an officer.