Milwaukee Christmas Parade: Police Identify All Five Victims
Police have identified all five victims in the incident at a Milwaukee Christmas Parade.
On Sunday, November 21, an SUV drove into the annual Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing five and injuring 48.
Waukesha police have officially identified the victims as Virginia Sorenson, 79, Leana Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 82.
Four of the five people killed were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, who were performing at the event.
The other victim, Jane Kulich, was a Citizen Bank employee and was representing the bank in the parade procession.
It was Durand’s first time performing with the Dancing Grannies. Durand was a hospice and critical care chaplain at Waukesha Memorial, and saved a homeless man from drowning in 2009.
Her husband Dave told The Daily Beast yesterday, November 22:
She was super energetic, she was that type of person who when she walks in the room, everybody notices her smile.
Continuing, he said that his wife ‘literally danced her way through life’.
Sorenson, a registered nurse and grandmother of six, was a long-time member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and the group instructor.
Kulich was a mother of three and grandmother of three who was passing out candy while representing the bank.
Owen was also with the group and worked as a manager at Packard Glen Apartments for nearly 10 years, as per CNN.
Hospel was helping the group at the parade because his wife is a member.
Speaking with the New York Post, Hospel’s brother 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.
Police said that the suspected driver, Darrell Brooks, 39, is facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Before driving into the crowd, Brooks was allegedly involved in an altercation involving a knife but fled the scene before police arrived.
Brooks has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1999. His prior charges include domestic abuse, violent behaviour and an allegation that he used a vehicle as a weapon weeks before the parade.
The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office said it expected to file charges this afternoon, November 23.
Police Chief Dan Thompson said that they are ‘confident’ the suspect acted alone and that there is ‘no evidence this is a terrorist incident’.
Officials have not commented on a possible motive and the FBI are assisting the local authorities with the investigation.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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