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Darrell Brooks appears in court following Wisconsin parade attack
Prosecutors revealed the death of a sixth victim, a child, during the hearing, where Mr Brooks bail was set at $5m.
The 39-year-old suspected driver, seen wide-eyed in a new mugshot released earlier in the day, was already facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, with a sixth expected in light of the newest death. He was allegedly involved in a “domestic dispute” moments prior to driving onto the parade route, and court records show he has an extensive rap sheet dating back to 1999.
Doorbell camera footage captured Mr Brooks waiting for an Uber outside a home roughly 20 minutes after he plowed through the parade. The homeowner said he invited Mr Brooks in for a sandwich before police arrived to arrest him.
At an emotional press conference on Monday, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson read out the names of those who had died: Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
The sixth victim was identified on Tuesday as eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was critically injured alongside his 12-year-old brother Tucker.
The names of injured victims – many of whom are children – continue to trickle out through online fundraisers seeking help with medical bills.
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Affidavit: Brooks ‘drove in zigzag’ at Waukesha parade
An affidavit by the police against Darrell Brooks reveals more details into what investigators believe happened at the Waukesha Christmas parade which left six people, including a six-year-old, dead.
The document says a total of 62 people were left injured when Brooks drove his red SUV into the crowd gathered for the Christmas parade.
Brooks was initially driving at an approximate speed of 25 miles per hour, sticking to the north side of the road, according to the affidavit, before he began increasing the speed.
The car began “getting closer to parade spectators, and almost struck a small juvenile who was standing in one of the parking stalls on the north side of the road as its speed was increasing.”
“The vehicle then appeared to rapidly accelerate,” the document says, and “took an abrupt left turn into the crowd of parade participants.”
An eyewitness quoted in the complaint said that the SUV “continued to drive in a zig-zag motion,” adding that the car was trying to avoid other cars but not people.
Brooks did not make any attempt to stop or slow down his car even while hitting the people, as another witness added that it was “a direct intent to hit as many parade participants.
“This was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” mentions the affidavit.
The moment before Darrell Brooks was arrested
ICYMI: Darrell Brooks was reportedly filmed by a doorbell camera waiting for an Uber roughly 20 minutes after he drove his SUV into the parade route, killing five and injuring dozens more.
Mr Brooks, who was arrested not long after the footage was captured on Sunday, told the homeowner Daniel Rider: “I called an Uber and I’m supposed to be waiting for it over here, but I don’t know when it’s coming”.
He adds: “Can you call it for me please? I’m homeless.”
Mr Rider, according to NBC News, invited Mr Brooks inside his home, and made a sandwich for the suspect.
“All of a sudden, I look outside my street and I see a few cop cars drive by and I’m getting extra nervous,” Mr Rider said. “Then the next thing you know, you see the cops with lights on him saying, ‘hands in the air, hands in the air.’”
The Independent’s Gino Spocchia reports:
Wisconsin homeowner says he was ‘getting extra nervous’ as police arrived
$1m raised to help victims’ medical and funeral costs
ICYMI: Around $1m has been raised in just two days to help victims of the Wisconsin Christmas parade tragedy.
The tight-knit Waukesha community sprang into action after Sunday’s Christmas parade tragedy which claimed five lives, organising fundraising events, prayer vigils and opening a makeshift resource centre for the victims.
By Tuesday afternoon about $750,000 has been donated to GoFundMe pages set up by friends and family of the victims, while community and business fundraising efforts have collected another $200,000.
With hospital bills piling up, families have been forced to try to raise awareness and money for their loved ones, many of whom are facing months in hospital.
The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports:
Donations pouring in for Waukesha victims
Waukesha cops launch fundraiser with stuffed animal K9s
ICYMI: The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department is raising money for victims of the Christmas parade attack by selling stuffed animals dressed like police K9s.
The plushie toys are available for $20 each with 100 per cent of all proceeds going toward the United for Waukesha Community Fund.
Darrell Brooks’ new mugshot released
ICYMI: Police released a new mugshot for Darrell Brooks hours before he is set to appear in court.
The photo taken Tuesday morning shows Mr Brooks wide-eyed in a heavy, green jail-issued vest.
Milwaukee Brewers host fundraisers for parade victims
ICYMI: The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team announced two fundraisers in honour of the Waukesha Christmas parade victims.
The first took place on Tuesday morning, where fans were invited to meet with top members of the team at the Colectivo Coffee shop in Milwaukee. Attendees were encouraged to donate to the Brewers Community Foundation, with the team’s president of baseball operations David Sterns promising to personally match the amount raised.
The second event, “Magic of Lights” is scheduled for 5pm CT on Wednesday. For ever car that attends, host American Family Insurance pledged a $10 donation with a cap of $10,000.
WATCH: Dancing girl narrowly misses SUV strike
ICYMI: Harrowing video captured the moment a little girl narrowly avoided being struck by the SUV that barrelled down the Waukesha Christmas parade route on Sunday.
The youngster, dressed in pink snow gear, is seen dancing to a marching band a few feet from the sidewalk when the car passes inches behind her.
The crowd erupts in screams of terror as the car continues down the route before striking dozens of people.
The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:
Viral footage captures the terror that overtook what was supposed to be a joyous holiday occasion in Waukesha on Sunday
Darrell Brooks wears suicide prevention vest to court hearing
Mr Brooks faces life imprisonment if convicted on the five intentional homicide charges he faces, with prosecutors expected to bring a sixth charge following the death of eight-year-old Jackson Sparks.
Wisconsin church confirms death of Jackson Sparks
The eight-year-old became the sixth victim of the Wisconsin Christmas parade incident last Sunday.
“Aaron Sparks and Sheri Sparks would like to thank everyone for your prayers and amazing support during this difficult time,” said LifePoint Church in a Facebook post.
“They wanted to give an update to everyone as you are likely aware, Tucker (12) and Jackson ( Sparks were both seriously injured during the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack and have been in the ICU since.
“Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home. This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
“Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family. They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus.”
DA’s past comments on reforms draw scrutiny
A Wisconsin district attorney acknowledged that his justice reforms could lead to freed criminals killing others more than a decade before a man his office released on bail mowed down dozens of people at a Christmas parade in Waukesha.
John Chisholm began enacting reforms – including the lowering of cash bonds and diverting non-violent offenders to treatment programs – when he was elected as Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2007.
Explaining his efforts to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that same year, Mr Chisholm acknowledged the possibility of adverse consequences.
“Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into a treatment program, who’s going to go out and kill somebody? You bet. Guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen,” he said.
“It does not invalidate the overall approach.”
Mr Chisholm’s comments were drawn back into the spotlight this week after Darrell Brooks, a felon with a rap sheet dating back to 1999, was accused of killing five people and wounding 48 others by driving his car into Waukesha’s Christmas parade.
The Independent’s Megan Sheets reports:
Milwaukee County district attorney’s 2007 comments re-emerge following the arrest of Darrell Brooks