A Wisconsin man was hit with five counts of intentional homicide Monday in the deadly vehicular attack on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, police said at a press conference.
An emotional Police Chief Daniel Thompson said cops have ruled out terrorism as a motive for the tragic incident, but confirmed that Darrell Brooks, who had been held as a person of interest in the case, has now been charged.
Thompson said police “are confident he acted alone,” and reiterated that “there’s no evidence that this is a terrorist incident.”
The chief also confirmed that one Waukesha cop who opened fire on the vehicle has since been placed on administrative leave.
Thompson also identified the five people killed, who range in age from 39 to 81.
He said there were 48 people injured in all, including two children who are in critical condition.
Brooks, 39, was taken into custody as a person of interest following the deadly Sunday incident that killed five and left dozens injured.
The red Ford Escort SUV barreled past police barricades and into the Waukesha Christmas parade route around 4:40 p.m. Sunday and mowed down more than 40 marchers and spectators, including a dozen children.
Six children injured in the attack are now in critical condition at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and three others are in serious condition, according to hospital officials.
In all, the hospital is treating 18 children between 3 and 16, including three sets of siblings, the hospital said.
Dr. Amy Drendel, medical director of the hospital’s emergency department, said the injures range from scrapes to broken bones and serious head injuries — with eight youngsters undergoing surgery Sunday and Monday.
Among the dead are members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, the group said in a Facebook post, adding they were “devastated by this terrible tragedy.”
Police said Brooks may have been fleeing from another incident, possibly a knife fight.
Brooks, an amateur rapper who went by the name Mathboi Fly, has a criminal past and was released from jail just two days earlier, according to reports and court records.
Records show he was released on cash bond on Friday in a Nov. 5 case where he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery.
In another case dating to July of last year, Brooks is charged with reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a firearm.