Comfort and Joy.
That was the theme of this year's Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Comfort and Joy.
But it was not to be.
While thousands were enjoying the festivities at Sunday's celebration, a man came barreling down the parade route in a red SUV, plowing through barriers and into crowds. When the carnage was through, at least five people were dead and more than 60 injured.
On Tuesday, a young boy succumbed to injuries suffered during the horrible attack.
The suspect, Darrell Brooks, a registered sex offender in Nevada, has a long criminal record. He was already currently facing charges including assault, battery and recklessly endangering safety, all related to domestic abuse, and illegal possession of a firearm when he got behind the wheel Sunday. Now he's looking at least five counts of intentional homicide and is looking at life in prison.
Waukesha police say there is no indication the suspect knew anyone at the parade or that the incident was an act of domestic terrorism. No, they believe Brooks was fleeing yet another domestic disturbance
A Christmas parade. It's hard to imagine a place where families are happier. Where they feel safer. No doubt many across the country are wondering if they should take their children to holiday festivities in their own cities.
That's too bad. And the chance of this happening again are slim. But the fear is understandable.
Comfort and joy. There is not much of either in Waukesha right now. But we pray that city and its people somehow find plenty of both in the days and weeks to come.