Two of the performers have been left in mourning after being hit by an SUV and driven into the Waukesha Christmas Parade Sunday.
Two of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were killed in an accident at Waukesha’s annual Christmas parade. The driver of a red SUV drove into the crowd at high speed and caused the “Devastation” of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson (79), LeAnna Owen (71), and Tamara Durand (52) were among the five people who were killed when an SUV driven by Darrell Brooks, 39 crashed into the parade participants and crowd. Durand posted on Facebook Sunday that she was joining the group for the parade festivities.
Wilhelm Hospel (81), another victim, was also killed, NBC News confirmed Tuesday. He is the husband to another member of Dancing Grannies.
One member of Dancing Grannies told Tom Llamas, NBC’s senior national correspondent, that she believed the person who killed them was evil.
The remaining members of the group pledged to spread happiness through their performances, while also honoring the two women who were lost.
Sharon Millard, member of Llamas, stated that she would like everyone to think about the joy they bring to others. It might take us a while to pull back and recruit more people. However, I am certain that we will continue to do so.
On Monday, the group shared their grief in a Facebook Post.
“Our group did what they loved: performing in front crowds in a parade that put smiles on people’s faces and brought joy to their lives. The grannies loved hearing the cheers and applause from the crowds while performing, which brought smiles to their faces.
“Those who were killed were passionate Grannies. They were full of joy to be a Grannie. They were the glue …. that held us all together.”
Sorenson, Owen, and 48 other people were also killed, ranging from 52 to 81 years old. 18 children were also among them.
Milwaukee Bucks fans lit up the arena with their phones to pay tribute to the victims of Monday’s Orlando Magic game.
Schools are closed in the city until Thanksgiving, and students have access to crisis counselors.
Brooks will be charged with five counts of intentional homicide in the first degree. This was after an incident that Waukesha Chief Steve Howard described as “a war zone” during a Monday press conference.
Brooks is believed to have acted alone by police. According to records, Brooks has a long criminal history that includes numerous arrests for drug, battery, and domestic abuse.