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The child is the sixth dead in the accident at the Waukesha parade;  suspect charged – The Denver Post

An 8-year-old boy became the sixth person to die on Tuesday following a man driving his SUV in a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, with a criminal complaint alleging the suspect in the case headed side by side with the intention of marchers and spectators on strike.

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, has been charged with five counts of first degree intentional homicide, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted. He rocked back and forth in his seat and cried throughout his hearing on Tuesday, his attorney’s arm slung over his back, as the charges against him were detailed. His bond was set at $ 5 million and a preliminary hearing was set for January 14.

“The nature of this offense is shocking,” said Waukesha District Court Commissioner Kevin Costello.

Additional charges related to the sixth death and the more than 60 people injured will arrive later this week or next, Waukesha County Prosecutor Susan Opper said. The criminal complaint indicates that 62 people were injured, against 48 previously announced by the police.

Brooks is accused of escaping the police and entering the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday night, refusing to stop even as an officer banged on the hood of his SUV. Another policeman fired three shots into the vehicle, but it did not stop.

Five people aged between 52 and 81 were declared dead within hours. Jackson Sparks, 8, was the first of many injured children to die. He was walking in the parade with his 12-year-old brother, Tucker, who was injured in the crash and was released from the hospital, according to his GoFundMe page.

“This afternoon, our dear Jackson unfortunately succumbed to his injuries and passed away,” wrote the page’s organizer, Alyssa Albro.

Live city video and spectator video captured the chaotic scene as an SUV sped along the parade route and then into the crowd. Several of the injured are still in critical condition.

According to the criminal complaint, witnesses told police that the vehicle “appeared to be moving intentionally side to side” without attempting to slow down or stop as it struck several people and stole bodies. and objects.

Brooks ignored multiple attempts to arrest him, according to the criminal complaint.

A detective – wearing police badges and a neon orange safety vest – stepped in front of Brooks’ vehicle and knocked on the hood, shouting “Stop” several times, but Brooks walked past him, according to the complaint. .

A uniformed policeman who saw Brooks’ SUV heading towards the parade route also attempted to get his attention by repeatedly shouting “Stop, stop the vehicle,” but was ignored, according to the complaint. The officer “observed the driver staring straight ahead, straight at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,” the complaint said.

Brooks braked at one point, but instead of turning away from the parade route, he turned to the crowd and appeared to accelerate quickly, according to the complaint.

Another policeman fired at the vehicle, hitting it three times as it entered the parade route. Brooks was not hit by the bullets, the Waukesha police chief said on Monday.

The complaint said a witness who spoke to police said the SUV “continued to go zigzag. It was as if the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people. The vehicle did not attempt to stop, let alone slow down.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks was leaving the scene of a family argument that had taken place minutes earlier when he made his way to the parade route.

He was released on $ 1,000 bail for a case in Milwaukee County earlier in November in which he is accused of intentionally hitting a woman with his car. Prosecutors said they were investigating their bail recommendation in the case, calling it too weak.

Brooks has been charged with crimes more than a dozen times since 1999, mostly in Wisconsin but also in Georgia and Nevada, and had two cases pending against him at the time of the parade disaster. This included resistance or obstruction of an officer, reckless endangerment, disorderly driving, bail and battery for the Nov. 2 incident.

Thompson said there was no evidence the bloodshed on Sunday was a terrorist attack or that Brooks knew anyone in the parade. Brooks acted alone, the chef said.

NBC News posted doorbell camera footage that appeared to capture Brooks’ arrest. It showed Brooks, shivering in a simple T-shirt, knocking on an owner’s door and asking for help calling for a ride. Moments later, the police surrounded the house and shouted, “Put your hands up! Brooks, standing on the porch, raised his hands and said, “Whoa whoa whoa!”

Hundreds of people gathered on Monday evening in a park in downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin, for a candlelight vigil in honor of those lost and injured. A couple of clergy solemnly read the names of those who died. Volunteers distributed sandwiches, hot chocolate and candles during the vigil, which was attended by interfaith leaders and elected officials.

“We are parents. We are neighbors. We are in pain. We are angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are grateful. We are all in there. We are Waukesha Strong, ”said Amanda Medina Roddy of the Waukesha School District tearfully.

Mayor Shawn Reilly described the parade as a ‘Norman Rockwell type’ event that ‘turned into a nightmare’.

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Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press writer Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis.

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