WAUKESHA, Wis. – A sixth victim, a child, has died after a man on a mission to “strike and hurt as many people as possible” drove an SUV into a Christmas parade route on Sunday, authorities say.

Sue Opper, the District Attorney announced Tuesday’s sixth victim. Darrell Brooks Jr. (39), was charged with first-degree intentional murder. Opper also stated that a sixth charge of homicide would be brought.

Police say Brooks was fleeing a domestic disturbance where a knife was reported when he rammed an SUV into the parade route Sunday night, injuring more than 60 people.

The mandatory sentence for first-degree intentional murder is life imprisonment. There are other charges that could follow.

Opper mentioned Brooks long list of convictions in Wisconsin and other states, before asking for $5,000,000 bail. Court commissioner Kevin Costello granted the request.

Costello claimed he was upset by Brooks’ actions during the parade.

“I’ve not seen anything like this in my very long career,” Costello said. 

The criminal written complaint contains a chilling observation from one police officer who watched Brooks pass by several options to exit the parade route, and instead increase his speed:

“At this point, it was clear . . . that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” the complaint said.

At one point, Brooks braked, but did not take the chance to exit the parade route — instead he turned into the crowd and accelerated, the complaint said. 

It also details multiple attempts by police to stop Brooks.

Brooks was free on $1,000 bail posted Friday for another pending case that included an allegation he deliberately hit a woman with his car in early November after a fight. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said it launched an internal review of its “inappropriately low” bail recommendation in that case.

Waukesha’s effectThe national security of the country is threatened by an influx in weapons-equipped vehicles driving into people.

These are the facts we know as investigators try to find answers.

Over $1M has been raised to help victims

Donations to aid the victims of Sunday’s fatal parade crash, some of whom were children, poured in Tuesday.

By Tuesday afternoon, more than $1 million had been donated to crowdfunding campaigns and a community fund for victims, some of whom were still fighting for their lives, according to the campaigns.

One child wasn’t aware how severely she was hurt but “but managed to say, ‘just glue me back together,’” family friend Oscar Luna wrote in the GoFundMe page for a girl named Jessalyn. “Only a child could reference themselves as a little doll in this situation.”

Luna explained that Jessalyn broke her pelvis, lost one kidney, and now has severe damage to her liver, lungs and liver.

Brothers Tucker and Jackson Sparks were among multiple siblings hospitalized after the crash. 

Jackson, 8, later died from his injuries according to a Tuesday afternoon update on his verified GoFundMe page. The update was confirmed by his baseball club and his family’s church.

Loved ones mourned the victims who died. Several of those killed were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies – who entertained crowds across the area for decades with their pompoms, sense of humor and moxie.

Virginia Sorenson (79), was the core of the group. 

Ginny is her name. She had a bad back and a bad hip but loved to dance.

What did she love about it? Everything,” said her husband of 56 years, David Sorenson. The instructing was a favorite pastime of hers. She loved the music and the camaraderie among the women. She loved to dance.”

Sorenson, a 19-year veteran of the Dancing Grannies, was near the back of the group holding a banner when she was killed.

Home security video appears to show  suspect’s arrest 

A home security video appears to show Brooks’ arrest after he approached a resident asking for help, NBC News reported.

Brooks knocked on the resident’s door Sunday about 20 minutes after the crash and told the resident he was homeless and waiting for an Uber.    

According to NBC News, the resident said he was out hunting at the time and wasn’t aware of what happened at this parade. Brooks was allowed inside and he gave Brooks a sandwich and jacket. He then let Brooks use his cellphone before NBC reports that he saw police cars pass by.

Brooks was asked to go. As he left the home, police arrived to tell him to get his hands up. Part of that interaction was captured on the home security video.

We know a lot about the suspect

Thompson provided few details of the domestic disturbance that happened before Brooks drove through the parade but said there had been a report of a knife and police did not respond to that scene before they went to the parade. 

Thompson stated that Brooks was acting alone, and that there were no signs of terror or evidence Brooks had known anyone at the parade.

Wisconsin horror:Timeline for SUV driver’s destructive path on Waukesha parade route

Brooks was freed on $1,000 bail two days before the deadly event, which has drawn scrutiny and renewed calls for giving judges more power to set higher bails. 

Brooks was arrested and charged this month after a woman told police he intentionally ran her “over with his vehicle” in the parking lot of a gas station after he followed her there following a fight, according to a criminal complaint.

The $1,000 bail recommended by prosecutors and accepted by the court commissioner in the case was called “inappropriately low” by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in a statement Monday.

It was inconsistent with “violent crime” cases and it was also not in line with the Office’s risk assessment prior to setting bail, according to the statement.

Brooks has been charged with crimes 10 times since 1999, including three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others. Brooks was recently arrested in relation to a domestic violence incident on Nov. 5. He was also charged for resisting and obstructing officers.

It is the community that holds vigil 

A cold and windy candlelight vigil Monday night included clergy reciting prayers for those mourning while volunteers handed out candles and hot chocolate.

“We walk that street every day, it’s home, and it just hits really close to home,” said Kim Mischalouski, a Waukesha resident for 30 years. Tonight was meant to make me feel better. It’s not there yet, but it’s coming, and I was hoping there was going to be something like this.” 

Contributing: Bill Glauber, Sophie Carson, Sarah Volpenhein, Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com


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