What we know about the victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade incident
Updated November 22, 2021 at 8:55 PM ET
Five people were killed and dozens were injured after the driver of an SUV plowed into a crowd of people at the annual Waukesha Christmas Parade in Wisconsin on Sunday.
Within an hour into the parade, suspect Darrell E. Brooks Jr., 39, "intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades into a crowd of people," Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson told reporters during a news conference on Monday.
The five people killed in the crash ranged from age 52 to 81 years old, with Thompson identifying the victims as:
- Tamara Durand, 52
- Wilhelm Hospel, 81
- Jane Kulich, 52
- LeAnna Owen, 71
- Virginia Sorenson, 79
"Our prayers go out to all the victims of this tragedy. This senseless act resulted in five deaths and 48 injured (that number may rise)," city officials said in a statement.
The Waukesha Police Department also noted that trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 via the national Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990.
Brooks is being charged with five counts of homicide, Thompson said, with other charges possibly being added as the investigation continues.
According to Thompson, officials with Children's Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee said Monday that 18 injured children were being treated there — including two in critical condition.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a local dance troupe for grandmothers, wrote in a post on Facebook that some of their dancers were among those who were killed in the incident.
"The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are [devastated] by this terrible tragedy with ... loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade," the group wrote in its statement. "Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed [the] joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue [that] held us together."
It was not immediately clear which of the five victims named by police were a part of the dance troupe.
As the nation is mourning following the tragedy, details are beginning to emerge about some of the victims of Sunday's attacks. NPR will update this page as more information about the victims becomes available.
Tamara Durand, 52, of Waukesha
Tamara Durand was excited for her first performance as one of the Dancing Grannies, her husband David Durand said in an interview in The New York Times.
David Durand says he did not attend the parade but found out about the tragedy immediately after it happened. He described the scene once he arrived as "chaos," he told the newspaper.
The next time he says he saw his wife was at the morgue, as he went to go identify her body.
When Tamara Durand wasn't dancing, her husband says she cared for her grandson four days a week and volunteered for local hospitals and the Red Cross, the Times reports.
Jane Kulich, 52, of Waukesha
Kulich worked as a bank teller at Citizens Bank. In a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the bank said she was "one of our team members who was walking with the parade float was struck and passed away as a result of her injuries."
"Our condolences go out to her family and friends for this inconceivable loss," the bank said.
Kulich's daughter, Taylor Smith, wrote in a Facebook post, "There's no words. It's so unreal. My mom was killed last night. We are told she didn't suffer. Thank God. I'm so grateful I got to have her this long, but damn. She was walking in the parade last night. She was so happy. I love you mom. Rest in peace my beautiful angel."
The city of Waukesha is holding a prayer vigil Monday night for the victims of Sunday's parade tragedy.
This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene, and we will update as the situation develops.
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