Sixth child death in Waukesha motorcade accident; The suspect accused
Waukesha, Wes. – Prosecutors in Wisconsin on Tuesday charged a man with premeditated murder in the deaths of five people who were killed when an SUV drove into a Christmas parade, also injuring 62 people, including several children.
Prosecutors said a sixth person, a child, died and other charges remain pending.
Daryl Brooks Jr. has been charged with five counts of premeditated murder in Sunday’s plane crash in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee. A conviction for first-degree premeditated murder carries a mandatory life sentence, the most stringent punishment in Wisconsin.
Jackson Sparks, an 8-year-old boy, died on Tuesday, according to his GoFundMe page. He was walking the parade with his brother who is still in the hospital. The other five dead were adults.
“This afternoon, our dear Jackson succumbed to his injuries and passed away,” wrote Alyssa Albro, the page’s organizer.
Brooks first appeared in court on Tuesday. He could be heard crying during the procedure, his head tilted almost in his lap, and his attorney resting his hand on his back.
The city’s live video and the passerby’s video captured the chaotic scene as an SUV sped along the parade road and then into the crowd. Many of the wounded are still in critical condition.
According to the criminal complaint, eyewitnesses told the police that the car “appeared to be deliberately moving from side to side” without any attempt to slow down or stop as it hit several people and sent the bodies and objects onto the plane.
Brooks ignored several attempts to stop him, according to the criminal complaint.
A detective — wearing a police armband and neon orange safety jacket — climbed in front of Brooks’ car and banged on the hood, yelling “Stop” several times, but Brooks ran past him, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, a uniformed police officer who saw Brooks’ SUV driving toward the paradeway tried to get his attention, shouting “Stop, park” several times, but was ignored. At one point, the complaint said, Brooks ran, but instead of getting out of the way of the show, he turned into the crowd and appeared to be accelerating quickly.
Another policeman shot and hit the car three times as it entered the parade route.
Brooks was released on $1,000 bail for a Milwaukee County case earlier in November, where he was accused of intentionally hitting a woman with his car. Prosecutors said they were investigating their bail recommendation in the case, calling it inappropriately low.
The cash bail on the latest fee has been set at $5 million, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 14 at 9:15 a.m.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks, 39, was leaving the scene of a local dispute that occurred just minutes earlier when he was driving down a paradeway.
“We have a gentleman with a huge background, across multiple states,” Waukesha Court Commissioner Kevin Costello said.
Brooks has been charged with crimes more than a dozen times since 1999 and had two cases pending against him at the time of the show’s disaster. This included officer resistance or obstruction, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, and bail and battery jumping for the November 2 incident.
Some Republicans were quick to jump to the case as an example of a broken legal system.
Republican Rebecca Cliffish, a former deputy governor of Wisconsin running for governor in 2022, called the killings “another avoidable tragedy that occurred because a violent professional criminal was allowed to walk free and terrorize our community.”
Republican Representative Cindy Ducho said she is reintroducing a constitutional amendment that would change Wisconsin’s bail process to allow judges to consider a defendant’s risk to society when determining bail. Judges are currently only allowed to consider the possibility of defendants not appearing in court when determining bail.
“He tried to run over his girlfriend with his car – that was an attempted murder,” Ducho said. “If you are a danger to society, you have to work hard to get out.”
Thompson, the police chief, said there was no evidence that Sunday’s bloodshed was a terrorist attack or that Brooks knew anyone on the show. The president said that Brooks acted alone.
NBC News posted camera footage on the doorbell that appeared to capture Brooks’ arrest. Brooks, shivering in shirt only, showed a knock on the homeowner’s door and pleaded for help with a delivery order. Moments later, police surrounded the house and shouted, “Hands up!” Brooks stood on the porch, raised his hands and said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!”
Hundreds gathered in a downtown park Monday night in Waukesha, Wisconsin, for a candlelight vigil in honor of those lost or injured. A pair of clergymen read the names of those who died. Volunteers distributed sandwiches, hot chocolate and candles at the vigil, which was attended by religious leaders and elected officials.
We are parents. We are neighbors. We are hurting. We are angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are thankful. We are all in this together.
Mayor Sean Riley described the show as a “Norman Rockwell type” event that “became a nightmare”.
Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin. Writer Doug Glass contributed to the Associated Press from Minneapolis.
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.