Anger mounted Tuesday after bail for a man accused of killing six and injuring 62 others by plowing his SUV into them at a Christmas parade in Wisconsin was set at $5 million – despite him having already been free on bail from a previous crime at the time of Sunday’s carnage.
Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was free on a $1,000 bail when he careened into the parade crowd in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
On Tuesday – as it was learned a sixth victim, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, had died of his injuries – bail was once again set for Brooks. Waukesha police have identified Virginia Sorenson, 79; Leana ‘Lee’ Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52 and Wilhelm Hospel, 82 as the other five victims.
Under Wisconsin law, Brooks must pay 100 percent – the full $5 million – of his bail in order to be freed, rather than a percentage as applicable in some states.
While a bail bondsman could provide the fee, the person requesting the bond would typically have to put a portion of the bail, as well.
Judge Kevin Costello said the sum was ‘extraordinarily high’ for the ‘indigent’ Brooks, but critics pointed out that there was nothing to prevent someone from volunteering to pay the $5 million fee or crowdsource the cash.
That’s what happened with Kyle Rittenhouse, who was on Friday acquitted of murder in August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, whose bail had been set at $2 million but his supporters crowdfunded the cash.
It was unclear why the judge did not simply deny Brooks bail, given the suspect’s 22-year criminal history, multiple failures to previously show up in court, and multiple instances of social media activity with violent themes.
A now-deleted Facebook account belonging to Brooks showed the alleged killer had encouraged knocking ‘white ppl [the f**k] out’ and also appeared to support the controversial Black Hebrew Israelites.
SIXTH VICTIM: Jackson Sparks, 8, died of his injuries in the hospital, it was learned Tuesday. Pictured right: Jackson Sparks (below) is pictured with his older brother Tucker, 12 (above). Jackson’s death was confirmed on Tuesday. Jackson is the youngest of the six victims from the Christmas parade tragedy
Jackson Sparks (right), aged eight, and his 12-year-old brother Tucker (left) were both injured by Brooks’ car, with the impact killing Jackson
Tucker, 12 (right in both pictures), suffered a fractured skull and 8-year-old Jackson (bottom in first photo, left is second photo) suffered severe head injuries. Pictured right: Aaron (back) and Sheri Sparks (left) are pictured with their sons. Their youngest son was killed in the Christmas parade tragedy
Brooks was being held in custody on Tuesday night and will be held until his next court appearance in January 2022, unless he makes bail.
‘I think Darrell Brooks will post bail,’ tweeted one critic. ‘It’s $5 million. There are those in our country who probably think he did a great service to mankind, and can pay to get him out. They’ll do it.’
Another added: ‘I do agree with you and it makes me furious. $5M toooo [sic] low. Should be NO BAIL AT ALL. Court will be adding a 6th charge in a day or two. Jackson Sparks, an 8-year-old boy who was marching in the Waukesha Christmas Parade with his baseball team, has died from his injuries.’
Another critic added: ‘Waukesha parade suspect Darrell Brooks facing 5 counts of 1st-degree intentional homicide, held on $5M bail. That is even dumber than the low bail that got him out to begin with.
‘He can’t have any bail!! Bail denied!! WTF is wrong with you people?’
In court on Tuesday, Brooks was consoled by his public defender as he sobbed in court. The court-appointed legal expert raised eyebrows when she was seen rubbing Brooks’ back and attempting to comfort him.
Dressed in a green sleeveless bulletproof vest, Brooks was seen rocking back and forth in his chair during the hearing, staring at the floor throughout.
At one point, he appeared to weep as the judge detailed his lengthy criminal record.
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Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, the driver of the SUV that crashed into the crowd Sunday, made his first appearance in court Tuesday
Brooks, dressed in a green sleeveless bulletproof vest, was consoled by his public defender as he sobbed in court. His court-appointed legal expert raised eyebrows when she was seen rubbing Brooks’ back and attempting to comfort him
Darrell Brooks, 39, is ushered into court in Wisconsin on Tuesday for his bail hearing. He was later seen rocking back and forth in his chair during the hearing, staring at the floor throughout
Brooks is seen far right sitting in the courtroom, wearing a white mask and green vest
Critics of the current cash bail system demanded that the process be reassessed.
‘Unless leaders of this country do something to fix the broken system, I am deeply concerned that we will see the horrors like this weekend in Wisconsin continue to play out,’ Tulsi Gabbard, former presidential candidate and former congresswoman for Hawaii, told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night.
‘There doesn’t seem to be an actual plan. It sounds all warm and fuzzy. Wait until someone comes to threaten their families.’
She condemned the ‘irresponsible and dangerous leadership’.
Brooks was freed two days before the attack by the Milwaukee district attorney, in what the office admitted was a terrible mistake.
The shamefaced Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office admitted on Monday it was ‘inappropriate’ for convicted felon Darrell Brooks to be allowed out of jail on a $1,000 bond three weeks ago after trying to run over his ex-girlfriend, as he was charged with five counts of murder for the lives he took at the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday night
Brooks’ November 2 criminal complaint reveals he was accused of hunting down the mother of his child, a woman referred to in charging documents as EAP, and running her over while she was walking through a gas station after an argument
Between July 2020 and February 2021, Brooks was in custody awaiting a trial date on a $7,500 bond for shooting at his nephew after a fight over his old cell phone.
The bond was dropped to $500 in February because the courts couldn’t give him a trial quickly enough.
He was arrested again on November 2 in Milwaukee for hunting down the mother of one of his children at a hotel, then following her in the street with his SUV and running her over in the parking lot of a gas station after she refused to get in his car.
DailyMail.com obtained copies of his arrest warrant for that incident on Monday which reveals he followed her to a gas station, punched her ‘with a closed fist’ and then ‘ran her over.’
He was arrested and charged with five counts including bail jumping, for having failed to meet the terms of one of his many other sets of bail or probation requirements.
But on November 11, he posted a $1,000 cash bond.
By November 19, he was on the streets again and by November 21, behind the wheel of his Ford again.
After Sunday night’s massacre, Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement conceding the bail that was set was ‘inappropriately low.’
Brooks has officially been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, according to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office.
But during his court hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said a sixth victim, a child, has also died. Family members identified him as Jackson Sparks.
Prosecutors said they will consider a sixth homicide charge due to the little boy’s death.
The court heard Tuesday that Brooks had multiple previous violent convictions, a 22-year criminal history, charges against him filed in three states and lengthy custody time in Georgia.
He had repeatedly failed to show up for court hearings, and a $5 million cash bail was suggested for Brooks – whom the court heard was insolvent.
Judge Kevin Costello granted the district attorney’s request for the $5 million bail, saying the unusually high amount was warranted due to the nature of the alleged crimes and Brooks’ ‘extraordinary’ history of breaking the law and ignoring court orders.
‘I have not seen anything like this in my very long career,’ Costello said.
Five days before Brooks allegedly drove his red Ford Escape into a Christmas parade in the suburban Milwaukee city of Waukesha, he was released from police custody after posting bail in another case in which he was accused of running his car over a woman.
Just minutes before Sunday’s parade, Brooks got into a dispute with his ex-girlfriend, who neighbors said had to flee her home barefoot and with a black eye to escape him.
A now-deleted Facebook account belonging Brooks showed the alleged killer had encouraged knocking ‘white ppl [the f**k] out’ and also appeared to support the controversial Black Hebrew Israelites.
Police are yet to determine the motive behind the deadly rampage, however, records reveal Brooks is a career criminal with a rap sheet dating back to 1999 and had been bailed twice this year.
Facebook posts also show the amateur rapper, who went by his stage name, MathBoi Fly, had shared a series of links and memes relating to race and white privilege in June 2020, when protests erupted over the death of George Floyd.
On June 9, 2020, Brooks wrote: ‘LEARNED ND TAUGHT BEHAVIOR!! so when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD..’ followed by a middle finger and expletive emoji.
Facebook posts show the amateur rapper, who went by his stage name, MathBoi Fly, encouraged ‘knocking out’ white people
Brooks shared a series of links and memes relating to race and white privilege in June 2020, when protests erupted over the death of George Floyd
Among the social media posts that surfaced on Tuesday is a meme about Adolf Hitler and the identity of the ‘real Jews’
He also shared an article from ESPN that same day about NBA player Kyle Kuzma breaking down ‘his belief of what white privilege’, to which Brooks commented: ‘interesting’.
Brooks had also shared a post about a white cop being ‘violent towards peaceful protestors’, six days earlier.
The posts are among several that have emerged in the wake of his arrest after allegedly driving his red Ford SUV in a crowd of kids and elderly dancing groups during a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb.
Brooks’s troubling track record has raised questions as to why he had been allowed on the streets and his motives.
Among the brow-raising social media posts that surfaced on Tuesday is a meme about Adolf Hitler and the identity of the ‘real Jews’.
The graphic – posted on November 2015 – claimed ‘negros’ are ‘the true Hebrews’ and that America had moved ‘false white Jews into a state of Israel’.
The post seemed to promote the views of the Black Hebrew Israelites who believe African Americans are literal descendants of the Israelites in the Bible.
Brooks had shared the meme with a caption ‘#research’ and commented: ‘real game rite here’.
The criminal complaint against Brooks, released on Tuesday, accused him of deliberately targeting people.
Detective Thomas Casey stated in the criminal complaint that he was on traffic duty at the parade, and stood in front of Brooks’ Ford Escape along the route.
He said that he pounded on the hood of the vehicle as it came to a halt, and yelled: ‘Stop’.
Darrell Brooks, 39, is pictured in his November 16 booking photo, provided by Waukesha County Sheriffs Office
Brooks ignored him, swerved past and continued driving.
Casey chased the vehicle and ‘observed the vehicle begin to drive faster,’ according to the complaint.
Casey radioed to alert other officers, ‘and a few seconds later heard on the police radio that the vehicle was striking people and was continuing westbound on East Main Street.’
Casey noted that Brooks hit parade participants and spectators.
He said three people died on the scene, and two later in hospital.
Officer Bryce Butryn, another traffic officer on the scene, said in the complaint that he also tried to get Brooks to stop, yelling at him and waving his hands.
Butryn estimated that Brooks was driving around 25mph.
‘Officer Butryn observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,’ the complaint states.
Butryn said that, as Brooks got closer to the parade, ‘speed was increasing’.
‘At this point, it was clear to Officer Butryn that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible.
‘He observed the vehicle appeared to be intentionally moving side to side, striking multiple people, and bodies and objects were flying from the area of the vehicle.’
Butryn ran after the vehicle, and people were begging him for help but he told them if the injured person was breathing, wait with them as ambulances were on the way.
A third officer, Bryce Scholten, shot at the vehicle three times.
The incident comes just two days after Kyle Rittenhouse, the accused Kenosha shooter, was acquitted of murder charges in the deaths of two men during the unrest that erupted last year in the wake of a police shooting of a black man. Kenosha is located about 55 miles south of Waukesha. There is no indication yet that the two are connected
Terrifying video posted to social media shows a speeding red SUV collide into a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual holiday parade in Waukesha, some 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee
Eyewitnesses confirmed to officers that the vehicle appeared to be intentionally hitting people.
‘As I continued to watch the SUV, it continued to drive in a zig zag motion,’ said one witness.
‘It was like the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people.
‘There was no attempt made by the vehicle to slow down, much less stop.’
A second eyewitness said he thought it was ‘a direct intent to hit as many parade participants’.
Five of the victims have been identified as Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Jane Kulich, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; and Tamara Durand, 52.
Thirteen children are still in the hospital, including six in critical condition, three in fair condition and four in good condition, WISN12 News reported.
On Tuesday, a local man revealed he had welcomed Brooks into his home after the incident – which he did not know about at the time, giving him warm clothes and something to eat after Brooks knocked on his door.
Daniel Rider told CBS News that his mother had told him about a church sermon she listened to, urging people to help the homeless, and so when Brooks turned up at his home he ushered him in – unaware of what had just happened.
Rider said he was sitting in his living room watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Kansas City Chiefs when Brooks asked for help.
‘So I was like, ‘Oh! This was my chance to help somebody. I’m going to warm him up and give him some food,” Rider told CBS.
Brooks had parked his red SUV close to Rider’s home.
Rider said Brooks looked thin and cold, so he lent Brooks his jacket and phone and made him a sandwich.
Brooks sat on his couch the entire time, he said, and made several phone calls to his mother while waiting for an Uber to pick him up.
‘He was so polite. He was nice to me. He listened to everything I told him to do,’ Rider said.
‘Now, knowing what he just did moments before that, it’s hard to even wrap your head around.’
Brooks even asked him if he knew what was going on downtown.
The Christmas parade began on Sunday at 4pm, with participants starting at Main St. and Whiterock Ave. It was always intended to be a short parade, ending half a mile away at the northeast corner of Cutler Park. At 4.39pm, the red SUV is filmed speeding down Main Street. It smashed into the crowd, and sent bodies flying, before carrying on down towards the end of the parade, where the car broke through barriers. The SUV was found less than five blocks away and the driver was taken into custody but it’s unclear exactly where
Brooks is shown in this still taken from a video of the incident on Sunday. His motive remains unclear but the incident happened two days after he got out of jail on battery charges
‘I had no idea anything was happening,’ Rider said.
‘I was like, ‘There’s a parade today.’
‘And he was like, ‘Oh, that’s probably the parade.’ So he was just completely putting on a face and lying about everything,’ Rider said.
About 10 minutes after Brooks arrived, Rider said he started ‘getting real nervous’ because a police car was driving up and down the street.
He asked Brooks to leave, and Brooks was arrested shortly after, and Rider said the Uber arrived about a minute after he was put in handcuffs.
Brooks’ hearing came as friends and families of the dozens of people, including many children, hit by an SUV that sped through a Christmas parade in a suburban Milwaukee downtown area Sunday say they suffered life-threatening injuries, with some clinging to life.
Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks died of his injuries in the hospital, it emerged on Tuesday.
His brother Tucker, 12, remains hospitalized with a fractured skull.
‘Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home,’ the family said on a GoFundMe page.
Five dancers who were injured during the incident remain in the ICU, according to a statement by the Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team.
‘Our dancers have a multitude of serious physical injuries, of those, five dancers are currently in the ICU,’ the team posted in a statement on its Facebook page.
A young girl who is a member of a dance troupe struck by the SUV – a moment that was captured on cellphone video – woke up Monday and told doctors, ‘just glue me back together,’ according to her GoFundMe page organized by a family friend.
‘No child or parent should have to endure this amount pain and suffering,’ the girl’s mother, Amber Konhke, posted Tuesday afternoon.
The fundraising pleas detail the extent of some of the injuries from the incident that has left six dead so far and 62 others injured.
Konhke’s daughter Jessalyn is shown smiling directly at the camera on one GoFundMe page, wearing a white Santa hat and holding matching pompoms.
She is standing alongside other girls on the Waukesha Xtreme Dance team in a picture taken moments before she was struck.
Jessalyn is ‘fighting for her life,’ according to the fundraising account established by family friend Oscar Luna.
She lost a kidney, broke her pelvis and has damage to her liver and lungs, Luna said.
Items lie in the middle of a street in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Monday, where investigations continue after a vehicle slammed into a holiday parade the day before, killing several people and injuring multiple others
A broken children’s stroller lays on W. Main St. in downtown Waukesha
Police tape blocks off a street in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Monday
‘This holiday season will be a brutal one for them,’ he said of their family.
In an update posted Tuesday morning, Luna wrote that she had woken up briefly Monday.
‘She is not fully aware of the severity of her injuries but managed to say, `just glue me back together,´’ he wrote.
‘Only a child could reference themselves as a little doll in this situation.’
Julia, who was also marching with her dance team and whose last name also isn’t given, ‘is in the fight for her life,’ suffering from brain trauma after being hit, her fundraising page established by family friend Jen McCarthy says.
‘Everyone that knows this little girl knows what joy she brings to the world,’ the post says. ‘She has a heart of gold, a smile that can light up the room and is loved by so many.’
The Sparks brothers were among three sets of siblings hospitalized after being struck by the SUV, and they remain at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, according to an online fundraiser organized by a cousin.
Tucker, 12, has head injuries but is recovering, but Jackson, 8, suffered a more serious brain injury.
‘The entire family is devastated,’ said Alyssa Albro, the niece of the boys’ parents, Aaron and Sheri Sparks.
Aidan Laughrin, a senior at Waukesha South High School, was hit while performing with the marching band, suffering fractured ribs, according to an online fundraiser.
The family is ‘tough but the road ahead is going to be tough too, both physically and emotionally,’ the organizer posted.
Jordan Woynilko, who filmed the video above, described walking out of a pub along the parade route into a scene of despair and desperation as people tried to help those wounded by the speeding driver
Debris from the crash is seen in Waukesha on Sunday
A family’s chairs lie discarded on the side of the parade route on Monday morning
A person walks past a police car blocking Main Street the morning after a car ploughed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 22, 2021
Another band member, saxophonist Tyler Pudleiner, also was struck and has undergone two surgeries since Sunday.
‘He has a long road to recovery,’ wrote Joane Chmiel, one of two people raising money to help Pudleiner.
Tamara Rosentreter was doing what she loved, entertaining the crowd as part of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, when she was struck by the SUV that took the lives of three of her fellow dancers.
The mother of four and grandmother of one was the leader of the troupe, according to an online fundraiser seeking help for Rosenstreter’s recovery.
The organizer posted a message from Rosenstreter, who said ‘I’m still here. Lots of pain, stitches, broken bones and lots of bumps and bruises. Love you ALL.’
She described how a woman prayed for her at the scene ‘to help give me peace and comfort’ and how another kept her warm with a blanket.
‘This tragedy is so hard to wrap my head around,’ she said, saying her ‘heart aches’ for the victims and their families, those who witnessed the devastation and ‘for my teammates and their families who are my family.’
Lucero Isabel Perales says several family members were a part of the parade and were struck by the SUV.
That includes a cousin with skull fractures who is in a coma, an uncle who underwent six hours of surgery for a broken leg and another cousin with bruises all over her body.
‘This is a very hard time for all of us, it was something so unexpected,’ Isabel Perales wrote.
More than $787,000 had been raised by Tuesday afternoon for the 18 GoFundMe-verified pages for parade victims.
Another community fund for victims had raised more than $600,000 by Tuesday morning, said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly.
The Waukesha County Community Foundation said that fund had grown to more than $916,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
‘There’s so much outpouring of support,’ Reilly said.
‘It warms your heart to know that people are saying, ‘We support your community, we feel for you.”
The six victims named in the Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade attack
Four of the six people who were killed when a red SUV sped into a crowd of participants in the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Waukesha police identified the fatal victims as Dancing Grannies Virginia ‘Ginny’ Sorenson, 79; Leana ‘Lee’ Owen, 71; and Tamara Durand, 52; and 82-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, the husband of one of the Grannies.
Citizen Bank employee Jane Kulich, 52, was also identified as one of the fatalities. She was representing Citizens Bank in the parade procession when she was stuck and killed, according to her daughter.
On Tuesday it was learned a sixth victim, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, had died of his injuries.
Durand last Facebook post which she made just hours before the deadly events of Sunday night show her smiling and holding her pompoms while dressed in a winter coat and hat.
‘HERE WE GO!’ Durand wrote, adding a few Santa Claus emojis. ‘First Milwaukee Dancing Grannies parade! So excited!’
It was also the first time Durand performed with the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Tucker, 12 (left), suffered a fractured skull and 8-year-old Jackson (right in first photo) suffered severe head injuries
Tamara Durand (left), 52, and Leana ‘Lee’ Owen (right), 71, were two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who died in Sunday’s tragedy.
Virginia Sorenson (left), 79, was a nurse and member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of elderly woman marching in the parade. Wilhelm Hospel (right), 82, the husband of one of the grannies, died from internal bleeding, according to his older brother
Jane Kulich was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck
A GoFundMe set up by family to raise funeral costs described Jane ( right) as a ‘loving, beautiful and charismatic mother, grandmother and friend to so many. ‘The world is a much darker place without a woman like this in the world,’ continued the description. Almost $600 have been raised out of the $2,000 goal
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a marching, dancing holiday fixture in Wisconsin for nearly 40 years was hit by tragedy as they marched on Sunday
An Interfaith candle lit vigil was held at Cutler Park in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Monday
Hundreds of people were on hand at Waukesha’s Cutler Park for Monday evening’s candlelight vigil
Members of the Waukesha community came out to a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park on Monday
‘She was super energetic, she was that type of person who when she walks in the room, everybody notices her smile,’ her husband, Dave, told The Daily Beast on Monday.
‘She literally danced her way through life. She was the youngest one in the Dancing Grannies. Dancing was her favorite thing. It was her first time even with them, which is what’s so tragic, too.’
Tamara was a hospice and critical care chaplain at Waukesha Memorial. In 2009, she saved a homeless man from drowning in the Wisconsin River.
Tamara Durand and Leana Owen were also with the Dancing Grannies, while Wilhelm Hospel was the husband of one of the members.
Jane Kulich was a Citizen Bank employee who was walking with a parade float before she was fatally struck.
A GoFundMe set up by family to raise funeral costs described her as a ‘loving, beautiful and charismatic mother, grandmother and friend to so many.
‘The world is a much darker place without a woman like this in the world,’ continued the description. Almost $600 have been raised out of the $2,000 goal.
Hospel was helping the group at the parade because his wife is one of its members, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Hospel’s brother, Theodore, told the New York Post that he was on a golf course in Florida when he heard that his younger brother was among those struck by the out-of-control SUV driver.
Wilhelm, who was the youngest of five brothers, died after suffering from internal bleeding and injuries to his pelvis, according to Theodore.
‘I was talking to him this summer, and he said, “Who do you think is going to be the first one to go,” you know,’ Theodore said.
‘And lo and behold, the youngest one goes first.’
Theodore told the Post that he would frequently visit his younger brother and his wife, Lola, in Wisconsin. He said Wilhelm was ‘always repairing things’ in a rental property that he owned.
‘His job was never done, but he was so healthy,’ Theodore said.
‘He was not on any major medication. He was a strong person and even would help me out a lot of times because he was so strong. I cannot believe it.
‘It’s so tragic.’
Wilhelm Hospel is seen right with his wife, Lola, in the above undated file photo
Gabrielle Kamentz (left), a nursing student and clinical research assistant at Oshkosh College, posted a tribute to her late grandmother Virginia Sorenson (right), 79, killed in the Waukesha tragedy on Sunday
Virginia still worked part-time in medical records and despite her bad knee and hip was an active member of the grannies
‘What did she like about it? Everything,’ Virginia’s husband of 56 years, Dave, said. ‘She liked the instructing. She liked the dancing and the camaraderie of the women. She liked to perform’
Sorenson was a former registered nurse and mother of three children. She is also survived by six grandchildren.
According to the Journal Sentinel, Sorenson helped with the group’s choreographer and was a mentor to some of the newer members of the Dancing Gannies. She kept up her activities with the group despite nursing a bad back and hip.
‘She liked the instructing,’ her husband David told the newspaper.
‘She liked the dancing and the camaraderie of the women. She liked to perform.’
Sorenson was planning to take part in the parade from inside a van. But at the last minute, she decided she was going to help carry the banner at the rear of the group during the procession, according to her husband.
When she wasn’t dancing with the Grannies, Owen worked as a manager at Packard Glen Apartments for nearly 10 years, according to CNN.
Dave Schmidt, the property owner, told CNN that his staff posted a statement for residents informing them of her death.
‘This was one of her passions that she truly loved,’ the statement said. ‘She was so proud to be part of this group and lit up when she talked about it.’
The Dancing Grannies posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it was ‘devastated’ by the tragedy.
‘Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness,’ the group wrote.
‘While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds, cheers, and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts.
‘Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed…..joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue….held us together.’
Dancing Granny Betty Butula Streng, who had just joined the group, was also badly injured.
The degree of Betty’s injuries is unknown but she’s now in ICU, according to members of the community
The Grannies wrote: ‘Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted.
‘Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, and everyone whose lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers.’
Two children are in critical condition, 18 minors remain in the hospital and 48 are injured in total, but police say the number may rise.
Gabrielle Kamentz, a nursing student and clinical research assistant at Oshkosh College, posted a tribute to her late grandmother Virginia on Monday.
Mourners paid their respects to the five people who died and the dozens of others who were injured in Sunday’s horrific incident
Mourners attend a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park in Waukesha on Monday – a day after Sunday’s carnage at the annual Christmas parade
‘She had such a good heart. Such a good soul. She was the glue that held the family together. I’m still in shock and trying to process this as I write. As I continue through nursing school, I will live that legacy to her,’ Gabrielle wrote. ‘My grandmother was an incredible nurse. I’m so proud to be following in her footsteps.’
Jane Kulich’s daughter, Taylor Smith, also took to social media to post a tribute to her mother.
‘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 da**,’ Taylor wrote. ‘She was walking in the parade last night. She was so happy. I love you mom. Rest in peace my beautiful angel.’
Virginia was a nurse and member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of elderly women marching in the parade, for almost two decades.
She had been married to her husband, Dave, for 56 years and had two adult children and six grandchildren. Virginia worked part-time in medical records.
‘What did she like about it? Everything,’ her husband told the Milwaukee Journal. ‘She liked the instructing. She liked the dancing and the camaraderie of the women. She liked to perform.’
He said Virginia was helping dancers from the parking lot to the start of the route on Sunday.
‘[She] was going to ride in the van behind the woman and be an instructor. They were short help so she offered to hold the banner going down the street. so she did that. I was at the end in the car. I was sitting in the car waiting,’ he added.
‘The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,’ the Dancing Grannies wrote on Facebook. This picture was posted after the incident on Sunday
‘Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed…..joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue….held us together,’ the group posted on Facebook.
Dave told the outlet that despite her bad hip and knee, Virginia loved to make new members of the grannies feel welcomed.
In a Facebook comment, Virginia encouraged newcomer granny Betty Butula Streng writing ‘Our future Milwaukee Dancing Granny…great picture, she has the moves and the smile.’
Betty, who had just joined the group, was also badly injured. The degree of her injuries is unknown but she’s now in ICU, according to members of the community.
‘Dear friends, please hold in prayer Betty. This parade in Waukesha was the first gig for her as a part of the Dancing Grannies. She is currently in ICU. Please lift her and all others impacted by this tragedy in prayer. Lord, in your mercy…’ Betty’s friend, Kris Ertl posted on Facebook.
A suspect identified as 39-year-old Darrell Brooks was taken into custody for reportedly plowing his red SUV through crowds at parade. Police said they found his red Ford SUV parked neatly in a driveway five blocks from where he drove through crowds of kids and elderly dancing groups.
Police said Brooks was fleeing domestic dispute, and the attack was not fueled by terrorism sentiments.
Five victims were transported to Waukesha Memorial and one of them died. Twelve others were treated by first responders at the scene.
More than one of the fatal victims were part of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
‘The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,’ the Dancing Grannies posted on Facebook.
Footage shared online shows some of the dancing grannies just seconds before Brooks plowed through the crowd, as horrified pedestrians try to get out of the way.
The grannies voiced their heartbreak after the tragedy.
The Facebook statement read: ‘Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts.’
‘Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted . Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone who lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers,’ it concluded.
Among the injured are Romelia Perez and her 11-year-old daughter Camila, her husband, Rigoberto, 47, told the New York Post.
He said he had stayed home on Sunday while his wife and daughter went to enjoy the Waukesha parade, hours later he received the call.
‘I don’t understand,’ Perez told the outlet. ‘I was eating with my wife and daughter yesterday. Now they’re sleeping in the hospital. It’s hard.’
Camila has a broken femur and underwent emergency surgery, while his wife reportedly has many broken bones.
According to her father, Camila has not said anything since the horrific attack.'[She] hasn’t said nothing yet. She’s only crying, crying, crying,’ he said.
Waukesha parade attack victims include 18 kids who were hospitalized after deadly crash
When Darrell Brooks, 39, allegedly rammed his SUV into the Waukesha Christmas parade on Sunday, he killed 5 people and injured more than 40, including 18 kids.
Jessalyn Torres was performing in the parade with the Waukesha Xtreme Dance group when Darrell Brooks, 39, allegedly rammed his SUV into the holiday parade.
Torres was left fighting for her life with a lost kidney, broken pelvis and lacerations to her lungs and remaining kidney. She was transported to Children’s Wisconsin hospital for emergency treatment, Fox reported.
Ryan Kohnke told The Sun that he’s able to maintain hope because of his niece’s indominable spirit.
‘Even when I spoke to her this morning on the phone, she said to me, ‘Tell them to just glue me back together.”
Jessalyn Torres was performing in the parade with the Waukesha Xtreme Dance group on Sunday when an SUV struck her
Torres attended the parade with her older sister Yeliana and little sister Averie. She was left fighting for her life with a lost kidney, broken pelvis and lacerations to her lungs and remaining kidney after Darrell Brooks drove into the parade
Ryan Kohnke, Torres’s uncle, said he was devastated by the incident and likened it to things he saw while serving in Iraq
Kohnke, an Iraq veteran, described the massacre at the Wisconsin parade as something akin to a war zone.
He was there with his two kids attending the Christmas parade and cheering on Torres, who was participating in the festivities with her mother and four sisters.
Kohnke said he was videotaping the scene when he saw Brooks in his SUV approach the parade, then suddenly plow through it.
‘After I watched the guy barrel through, police trying to stop him, I knew my family was down there,’ he told The Sun, adding that his sister, Amber, wasn’t picking up her phone.
‘I grabbed my two children and we ran down there, I’m a veteran myself and it was like a war zone. There were bodies all over, people were just trying to help as much as they could. I just wanted to get the younger kids out of there so that’s what I did.’
Kohnke said he was devastated to learn about what happened to his niece, whom he described as a ‘wonderful child.’
He and another family member, Nathan Books, 23, has set up a GoFundMe to help Amber pay for her daughter’s medical expenses.
‘It was horrifying and shocking to see bodies flying in the air as a person, without any care for life or limb, ran over many people at a high speed,’ wrote Oscar Luna, a friend of Amber coordinating the GoFundMe.
Torres was described as a wonderful child who loved to be a part of her dance group
Family members and friends started a GoFundMe to help pay for Torres’s medical treatments
Supporters also send messages of hope and support to the 11-year-old victim
Torres, 11, was pictured with her little sister, Averie, 2, just moments before the crash
Along with Torres, nine other children were admitted to Children’s Wisconsin pediatric intensive care, where six were listed in critical condition on Monday, Fox reported.
Three were listed in serious condition and one in fair condition. The eight other injured children in the crash were listed in fair condition at other units in the hospital, with two having been discharged.
Among those in critical condition was Erik Tiegs, a member of the Waukesha South Marching Band and a son of a firefighter, who suffered a broken femur, broken ribs, a bruised lung and other injuries.
His brother, Tyson, was nearby when Erik was struck by the vehicle.
‘I’m upset. I’m mad. I am devastated, falling apart. I’m trying to keep it together for my family,’ he told Fox.
Dr. Michael Gutzeit of Children’s Wisconsin said ‘the injuries from Sunday night will go well beyond the physical and will take time to heal. We must all continue to lean on each other and to encourage those impacted to reach out and to use the resources that are available to them.’
Among the other injured children were brothers Tucker, 12, and Jackson, 8, Sparks. Tucker is recovering from road rash and a fractured skull, and Jackson had undergone brain surgery on Sunday, wrote cousin Alyssa Albro on the brother’s GoFundMe. It was later reported that Jackson succumbed to his injuries.
Erik Tiegs was a member of the Waukesha South High School marching band, which had several members struck by the car
Tiegs suffered a broken femur, broken ribs, a bruised lung and other injuries from the crash
Aidan Laughrin was another band member injured in the crash
he high school senior suffered fractured ribs and severe bruising
Tyler Pudleiner, a saxophone player, was transported to the ICU and has undergone two surgeries as of Monday
‘Doctors will be testing for brain function and brainstem activity,’ Albro wrote. ‘He needs a miracle.’
Another of the injured kids was Tyler Pudleiner, a saxophone player at Waukesha South Band, who was transported to the ICU and has undergone two surgeries as of Monday.
Aidan Laughrin, 16, was also a Waukesha South Band member who was injured at the parade. The high school senior suffered fractured ribs and severe bruising.
A separate GoFundMe for the Waukesha South band members has raised more than $144,000.
Fourth-grader Kenzie Hollingsworth was another of the children injured in the crash, where she suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a broken leg.
‘Miss Kenzie has a long road to recovery, but we know she is a strong, resilient, little angel,’ wrote Katharine Krzysik on a GoFundMe page.
Camila Perez was also treated at Children’s Wisconsin after she attended the parade with her mother, Romelia, who was also hit, as they performed with their church’s dance group.
Perez suffers from a broken femur and has undergone emergency surgery, and her mother also has several broken bones, The New York Post reported.
‘I was almost killed by it,’ Rigoberto Perez, 47, said ‘I said, ‘Please God, don’t take my daughter and my wife.”
‘I have nothing to say to the guy,’ Rigoberto said of Brooks. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with him to be outside and kill people.’
Fourth-grader Kenzie Hollingsworth suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a broken leg
Camila Perez and her mother, Romelia, were also injured in the crash. Perez suffers from a broken femur and has undergone emergency surgery, and her mother also has several broken bones
Among others injured were members of Lucero Perales’s family, who were attending the parade with their Catholic group. Perales wrote in his family’s GoFundMe that his uncle had his leg broken and underwent a six-hour-long surgery. He is now in intensive care.
Perales added that one of his cousins had a fractured skull and is in a coma, while another cousin suffered bruises ‘all over her body.’
Tamara Rosentreter was a member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and was performing in the group when they were struck by Brooks. The grandmother of four is recovering, but her family said she would be out of work for at least six months ‘due to multiple injuries.’
Juan Gutierrez, a dad, suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments when the car ran him over. His family said he needs to get surgery in order for him to be able to walk again.
Lucero Perales, his uncle’s family (pictured) were injured in the crash. The uncle suffered a broken leg, while one daughter is now in a coma and another had bruises ‘all over her body’
Tamara Rosentreter (left) was a surviving member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The grandmother of four is on her way to recovery, but her family said she would be out of work for at least six months ‘due to multiple injuries
Juan Gutierrez (right), pictured with his son David and wife Diamanta, suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments when the car ran him over. His family said he needs to get surgery in order for him to be able to walk again