The dust has settled even after a red SUV hit the Christmas Parade parade in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday, leaving at least five people dead and dozens injured – including children – as law enforcement and witnesses on the scene hailed the first responders’ handling. .
One of the witnesses on the scene, Brayden Kowalski, 19, described the professionalism of first responders as “amazing” in an interview with LBL.
“It’s great,” Kowalski said when describing the professionalism and quickness of first responders.
He said it did not take long for first responders to arrive at the scene of the incident and how they worked through a group of paramedics and firefighters, starting from where they were first shot.
He noted that Waukesha, a “peaceful town” about an hour’s drive west from Milwaukee, has never had such a traumatic event.
Still, EMTs “worked well enough, quickly, in a very orderly fashion,” Kowalski said.
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Meanwhile, police were maintaining order in the crowd, allowing victims to stay close to family members.
“Officers stood beside the corpses … to ensure that no evidence was confused and to preserve the best possible action for the sake of their families,” Kowalski said.
Angela O’Boyle watched in horror on her apartment balcony. He said police went into high gear as soon as the SUV flew past them and within minutes EMT responders were on the scene.
“It’s a quick help from viewers and EMTs,” he told LBL. “Everybody was running.”
She said the scene was chaotic but controlled relatively fast, admitting that she was in good hands if she was down the street.
Alan Johnson, Vice President of Critical Care and Specialty Services for Waukesha’s Pro Health Care, praised the “outstanding” work of the first responders. He said a number of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other staff rushed to the hospital to help the victims.
“The response to this crisis is less than the high level of professionalism I saw on the show last night,” Johnson told LBL on Monday. “Our coordination with local firefighters and local EMS worked flawlessly in the face of this incident.”
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At least five people were killed and about 50 others were injured in the parade attack, police said. The deceased have been identified as four females aged 52 to 79 and an 81 year old male. Among those killed were members of the Dancing Grannies Club, a bank employee.
Police also identified the suspect: Darrell Brooks Jr., a 39-year-old Milwaukee man with a criminal history dating back to 1999. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks left the home’s bustling location before officers arrived and is not. Police were chasing at the time of the crash.
Police said they are framing five charges of willful homicide against Brooks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.