Cardinals' JJ Watt offers to pay funeral costs for Waukesha Christmas parade victims: report

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 24: Defensive end J.J. Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals on the field during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 31-5. (Photo by Christian Petersen

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt has offered to cover the funeral costs for all the victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy, according to one report. 

At least six people were killed and dozens more were injured on Sunday when the driver of a red SUV plowed into a crowd of people at an annual Christmas parade in Watt’s Wisconsin hometown.

According to local media, Watt has offered to cover the funeral costs.

Five victims were initially identified as 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand and 52-year-old Jane Kulich.

An 8-year-old child, Jackson Sparks, was identified as the sixth victim. He underwent brain surgery on Sunday night but succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday night


Watt, who was born in Waukesha and played football at Pewaukee High School, took to Twitter after learning of the horrific incident. 

"Just now seeing what happened at the holiday parade back home in Waukesha tonight. Horrific images," his tweet read. "Truly hoping everyone is going to be ok and those not involved are now safe. Thankful to everyone who rushed to action and helped the wounded."

Brothers Derek Watt and T.J. Watt, who play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, also shared their thoughts on social media. 

"Thinking of all those affected by the senseless tragedy tonight back home in Waukesha, WI. This news truly is heartbreaking to see," Derek Watt wrote. 

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was charged Tuesday with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted. Prosecutors say he will likely face additional charges. 

Fox News’ Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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