On Sunday, citizens of Waukesha, Wisconsin gathered in the town to watch the Christmas parade. The festivities were full of children dancing and performing. There were even elderly people handing out candy to the slew of onlookers. All around, there was no politics, no motives or agenda. Just happiness and love. At least until a man used his red Ford Escape to plow through the entire parade, killing five and injuring more than 40 people. 

Although the police department is staying extremely quiet on the matter, they did release that they had a “person of interest” in custody. It was later reported by the Associated Press that the person of interest was 39-year-old Darrell Edward Brooks Jr., who had been released from jail just two days before he supposedly used his vehicle as a deadly weapon against innocent children. 

According to reports, the driver might have had a prior altercation just before driving through the crowd as sources claim he was fleeing a knife fight. 

As the details continue to emerge, the reality is – life was taken in a heinous act of violence. Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said, “Today, our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration. I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache.”

Among the victims were multiple parishioners, Catholic school children, and a Roman Catholic priest. Also included in the list of victims were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and the Waukesha Xtreme Dance team. 

Speaking about the violence he witnessed, Corey Montiho said, “There were pompoms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere. I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter. My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray.”

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Nurse Jodi Singsime added, “I heard and saw the people being hit, but what you could do more than seeing is hearing, and just that sound was insane. I felt his neck for a pulse and he had one but his eyes were barely open and his face — all I can remember is his sweet little innocent face was purple. He wasn’t really with us.”

A spokesperson from the White House issued a statement saying, “The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident. We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.”