Waukesha: Vigilance raised in mourning of Christmas parade victims including dancing grannies



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A crowd of people have gathered in Waukesha by the light of a candle procession To remember those killed in Sunday’s Christmas parade which includes members of a group that lost three people.



Police identified them as Lena Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and Wilhelm Hospel, 82, husband of a grannies.

Citizens Bank employee Jane Kulich, 52, was also hit and killed while walking with the company’s parade float.



In a vigil, a pair of clergy read the victims’ names solemnly, while volunteers handed out sandwiches, hot chocolate and candles.

“We are parents. We are neighbors. We are feeling hurt. We are angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are grateful. We are all in this together. We are Waukesha Strong,” Amanda Medina Roddy Said representing the Waukesha School District.



Virginia Sorenson, 79, was among those killed by a plowed SUV at a Christmas parade

, AP

The chief said police were not chasing Brooks before entering the parade route, but an officer fired a shot to try to stop him, but then stopped because of the danger to others.

Ms Durand’s last Facebook post shows her smiling and holding her pompoms hours before the tragedy unfolded.

“Here it is. First Milwaukee Dancing Granny’s Parade! So excited,” she wrote.

Her husband, Dave Durand, said she was doing her first show with Grannies on Sunday and had only seen her perform once before deciding to join.

“She basically danced her way through life,” he said of his wife of eight, a hospice pastor and former high school and college cheerleader, who was “super excited” for her first performance.

“She was absolutely energetic and she was happiest when she was dancing,” he said.

Ms Durand was the mother of three children with a grandson, whom she raised so that her daughter could finish nursing school, and volunteered in hospitals and hospices.

“She turned out to be an energizer,” said her husband, who ran every morning, no matter the weather.

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a marching, dancing holiday fixture in Wisconsin for nearly 40 years, was hit by tragedy on Sunday

, AP

Sorenson was a dance lover who had to give up the hobby years ago after surgery and remained the group’s longtime choreographer.

Her husband of nearly 60 years, David Sorenson, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel how much he loved working with the grannies.

“What did he like about it? Everything,” he said.

“He liked the instruction. He liked the dance and camaraderie of the women. He loved to perform.”

On Sunday, a joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing and waving in Santa hats gave way to screams and broken SUVs as they ran through barricades and affected a community of 72,000. saw the dead bodies.

“It looked like a dummy was being thrown in the air,” said Nicole Schneiter, who was there with her children and grandchildren.

“It took a second to register, like, ‘Did we really just watch?’ And then you saw on the street and there were just people lying on the road.”

At least nine patients, mostly children, were reported to be in critical condition at two hospitals on Monday, and seven others were reported to be in critical condition.

Mayor Sean Reilly described the parade as a “Norman Rockwell-type” event that “became a nightmare.”

AP

Police Chief Thompson said there was no evidence Sunday’s bloodshed was a terrorist attack or that Brooks knew anyone at the parade.

The chief said that he was leaving the place of a domestic dispute that happened a few minutes ago.

The suspect was free on a $1,000 bail posted just two days before the incident, a fact leading to a review of what happened and renewed calls to give judges more power to set higher bails. .

A pending case against Brooks also includes an allegation that he intentionally hit a woman with his car in early November after a fight.

Photo provided by Darrell Brooks’ Office of the Milwaukee County Sheriff

, AP

Thompson said police are going to recommend that he face five charges of first-degree intentional murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison.

Some Republicans were quick to jump on the case as an example of the broken legal system.

Republican Rebecca Klefisk, the former lieutenant governor of Wisconsin who is running for governor in 2022, called the killings “yet another avoidable tragedy, because a violent career allowed the criminal to walk free and terrorize our community.” Went.”

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