WAUKESHA, Wis. – The suspect accused of plowing his SUV through a barricade at a Christmas parade – killing five people and injuring at least 48 – was expected to be formally charged at a court hearing Tuesday as questions mounted over his release on bail two days earlier.  

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was fleeing a domestic disturbance with a report of a knife when he rammed into the parade Sunday night in an incident that has devastated the suburban Milwaukee town of Waukesha. He will be charged with five counts of intentional homicide, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Monday.

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 has 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.

As investigators searched for answers in the deadly incident, hundreds sought community solace Monday night in a candlelight vigil and interfaith prayer service.

Shawn Reilly of Waukesha, Mayor said “Last evening was a tragedy that no community should ever endure.” “Last night, our children were terrified when they should’ve been laughing. Last night many of our friends suffered serious injuries when they were supposed to be standing side-by-side with neighbors and friends.

We know this:

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.    

NBC News reported that the resident claimed he was hunting at the time and wasn’t aware of what just occurred at the parade. Brooks entered, he handed him a sandwich, and NBC reported that he let Brooks use the phone to access his phone. Then, NBC reported, he saw police cars pass by.

Brooks was asked to go and he did so. He then left the home when police arrived. The security camera captured a portion of the interaction.

The suspect: What do we know?

Thompson said Brooks is in custody and faces at least five counts of intentional homicide with the possibility of additional charges. The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office said it will file charges against Brooks on Tuesday and additional charges are expected at a later date.

Brooks was scheduled to appear before Waukesha County Court around 4 pm local time.

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 on his own and that there were no signs of terror or evidence Brooks had known anyone at the parade.

Wisconsin horror:Timeline: SUV driver is a destructive force along Waukesha Parade route

Brooks was freed on $1,000 bail just 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 earlier 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 Monday statement.

According to the statement, bail was also inconsistent with office policy in cases involving violence crime. It was also not compatible with risk assessments of defendants prior to setting bail.

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 most recently charged Nov. 5, with domestic abuse. He was also accused of resisting or obstruction to an officer.

We know a lot about victims

Police on Monday released the names of those killed in the crash. 

Three of the victims were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a local choreographed dance and pom-pom parade group: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; and Tamara Durand, 52. Wilhelm Hospel (81), who was a member of the group, also passed away.

Jane Kulich (52) was the victim. Citizens Bank said that Jane Kulich was injured and later died.

The Grannies shared a Facebook post saying: “Our group did what they loved performing in front crowds in parades putting smiles across faces of all ages and filling them full of joy and happiness.

“While they were performing, the Grannies loved hearing the cheers and applause from the crowd, which brought smiles on their faces and warm their hearts.

It is the community that holds vigil 

The cold and windy candlelight vigil Monday night included clergy reciting prayer 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, Waukesha resident for 30 years. To help me feel better, tonight was. It’s not there yet, but it’s coming and I was hoping there was going to be something like this.” 

Contributing to The Associated Press

Source: USAToday.com


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