Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after he drove his SUV into a Christmas parade on Sunday, resulting in multiple fatalities, and more than 60 people injured. His bail was set at $5 million on Tuesday. Brooks faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
#Waukesha Judge sets bail at $5 million for Darrell Brooks: “this offense is shocking…two detectives…not only tried to stop this but rendered an opinion this was an intentional act. You are presumed innocent sir but that’s what the allegations are.”
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) November 23, 2021
Brooks is accused of driving his SUV in a “zig-zag pattern” with the intention of striking “as many people as possible,” according to the criminal complaint.
The suspect allegedly refused to stop even after an officer banged on the hood of his red Ford Explorer, and another officer fired three shots into the vehicle.
Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly described the incident as a “Norman Rockwell-type” parade that “became a nightmare.”
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 outstanding cases against him at the time of the parade disaster.
The repeat offender was released just two days prior on $1,000 bail, according to reports.
Brooks was arrested, and charged with recklessly endangering safety, battery and obstructing a police officer on Nov. 2 for allegedly trying to hit a woman with his car following a fight.
Prosecutors said they would investigate the bail recommendation in that case, calling it “inappropriately low.”
An 8-year-old boy became the sixth person to die Tuesday, from injuries sustained in the horrific vehicular attack.
Five people ranging in age from 52 to 81 were pronounced dead within hours. Jackson Sparks, 8, was the first of many injured children to have died. He was walking in the parade with his 12-year-old brother Tucker, who was injured in the crash and was being discharged from the hospital, according to his GoFundMe page.
“The nature of this offense is shocking,” said Waukesha Court Commissioner Kevin Costello.
According to the criminal complaint, Brooks drove his SUV at high speeds in a “zig-zag driving pattern” to hit as many people as possible.
Detective Trussoni spoke with multiple citizen witnesses who were present during the parade. One witness indicated, “As I continued to watch the SUV, it continued to drive in a zig zag motion. It was like the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people. There was no attempt made by the vehicle to stop, much less slow down.”
Detective Trussoni spoke with another witness who described the same zig zag driving pattern by the SUV and the witness further indicated, he felt it was “a direct intent to hit as many parade participants.”
More than 60 people were injured, and six people were killed, according to the complaint.
The city’s livestream video and bystander video captured the chaotic scene when an SUV sped along the parade route and then into the crowd. Several of those injured remain in critical condition.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said that there was no evidence the bloodshed Sunday was a coordinated terrorist attack, however, according to reports, Brooks’ social media shows that he’s been an ardent supporter of Black Lives Matter who promoted violence against white people.
#Waukesha, Wis. Christmas parade massacre suspect Darrell Edward Brooks posted repeatedly in support of #BLM. His social media accounts were deactivated following his arrest. pic.twitter.com/36nLAm1l7e
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 23, 2021