WAUKESHA, Wis. – An 8-year-old boy has died, the sixth fatality after a man appeared to be on a mission to “attack and hurt as many people as possible” driving an SUV onto the parade route. Christmas celebration on Sunday, authorities said.
Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper announced the sixth death in court Tuesday for five counts of first-degree murder filed against Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, of Milwaukee. Opper said a sixth murder charge will also be filed.
Police say Brooks was fleeing a disturbance in his home where he reportedly used a knife when he crashed into an SUV of dozens of people on Sunday night’s parade route, killing more than 60 people. injured.
First degree attempted murder carries a mandatory life sentence, if convicted. Other fees may follow.
Opper cited Brooks’ long record of cases around Wisconsin and in other states before asking for $5 million in bail, a request approved by court commissioner Kevin Costello.
Costello said he was disturbed by accounts from officers saying Brooks’ actions at the parade appeared to be intentional.
“The nature of this offense is shocking,” Costello said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my very long career.”
The criminal written complaint features a chilling observation from a police officer who witnessed Brooks passing several options to exit the parade route and speed up instead. his:
“At this point, it’s clear … this was a deliberate act to attack and hurt as many people as possible.” Complaint said.
A witness told the detective a similar account of the vehicle, the complaint said: “It continued to drive in a zigzag motion. It’s like the SUV is trying to avoid the car, not the person. There isn’t any attempt by the vehicle to stop, much less to slow down.
Another witness told police he felt it was a “direct aim to target more and more people taking part in the march,” the allegation said.
The lawsuit also details some of the police’s efforts to stop Brooks.
Brooks was released on $1,000 bail announced Friday in another pending case that includes allegations he knowingly hit a woman with his car in early November after affray. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office said it had launched an internal review of the “inappropriately low” bail recommendation in that case.
In court Tuesday, Brooks rested his head on the defense desk during the hearing. The AP news agency said he cried when the charges against him were detailed.
As investigators searched for answers, here’s what we know:
Donations to support the victims of Sunday’s deadly crash, some of them children, were poured in on Tuesday.
Nearly $900,000 was raised Tuesday night in about two dozen GoFundMe-verified sites for victims of the parade. Another crowdfunding raised more than $900,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
According to the campaigns, some of the victims are still fighting for their lives.
One child didn’t know how badly she was hurt but “but managed to say, ‘let’s stick together,'” family friend Oscar Luna wrote on a GoFundMe page to a girl named Jessalyn . “Only a child could consider himself a little doll in this situation.”
Jessalyn lost a kidney, broke her pelvis and suffered liver and lung damage, Luna said.
Brothers Tucker and Jackson Sparks were among several siblings hospitalized following the crash.
Jackson, 8, later died of his injuries according to an update Tuesday afternoon on his verified GoFundMe page. The update has been confirmed by his baseball club and his family’s church.
Six children remain in “critical condition,” and a total of 13 children are still being treated at Children’s Wisconsin as of Tuesday evening, according to a statement from the hospital.
Loved ones mourn the victims who have died. Some of those killed were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, who have entertained crowds across the region for decades with their pomp, humor and moxies.
Virginia Sorenson, 79, is remembered as the heart of the group.
Everyone calls her Ginny. She has a bad back and bad hips but loves to dance.
“What does she like about it? Everything,” says her 56-year-old husband, David Sorenson. “She loves instruction. She loves dancing and the camaraderie of women. She loves performing.”
Sorenson, a 19-year veteran of the Dancing Grannies, was near the back of the group holding a banner when she was killed.
A home security video emerged showing Brooks being arrested after he approached a resident asking for help, NBC News reported.
Brooks knocked on the resident’s door on Sunday about 20 minutes after the crash and told the resident he was homeless and was waiting for an Uber.
The resident told NBC News he was hunting and had no idea what happened at the parade. He let Brooks inside, gave him a jacket and sandwich and let him use his phone before seeing police cars pass by, NBC reported.
The man asked Brooks to leave, and when he left the house, police officers arrived and asked him to raise his hand, residents said. Part of that interaction was captured on home security video.
Thompson provided some details of the disturbance in the water that occurred before Brooks drove through the parade but said there had been reports of a knife and that police were unresponsive to the scene before they arrived. parade.
Thompson said Brooks acted alone and there was no sign of terrorism or that Brooks knew anyone in the parade.
Brooks was released on $1,000 bail two days before the deadly event, which has attracted scrutiny and renewed calls to give judges more power to place charges. higher guarantee.
Brooks was arrested and charged this month after a woman told police he intentionally ran her “with his car” in the parking lot of a gas station after he followed her. there after an altercation, according to the criminal complaint.
The $1,000 bail offered 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.
The bail statement was inconsistent with the office’s approach to cases “involving a violent crime, nor was it consistent with the defendant’s risk assessment prior to depositing the bail.” receive”.
Brooks has been charged 10 times since 1999, including three times in less than two years, for recklessly endangering the safety of others. Most recently, Brooks was charged in a domestic abuse case on November 5 when he was also charged with resisting or obstructing an officer.
The windy and cold candlelight vigil on Monday night included chaplains reciting prayers for the mourners while volunteers hand out candles and hot chocolate.
“We walk on that street every day, it’s home, and it’s pretty close to home,” said Kim Mischalouski, a Waukesha resident for 30 years. know. “Tonight makes me feel better. It’s not there yet, but it’s coming, and I was hoping there would be something like this. ”
Contributors: Bill Glauber, Sophie Carson, Sarah Volpenhein, Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Related press