An 8-year-old boy on Tuesday became the sixth person to die from injuries suffered in the vehicle attack on a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening.
The death of Jackson Sparks was confirmed by prosecutors Tuesday during the preliminary hearing for the man accused of intentionally driving his SUV through the crowd, killing five adults and injuring at least 48 people. Among the injured were 18 children ages 3 to 16 years old, including three sets of siblings.
Darrell Brooks Jr. has been charged with five counts of intentional homicide, which could each earn a life sentence. With Jackson’s death, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said Brooks, 39, will likely face additional charges.
Sparks was marching in the parade with his baseball team when he was struck by the vehicle, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a relative. The boy had undergone brain surgery on Sunday evening.
The niece of Sparks’ parents, Alyssa Albro, confirmed Sparks’ death Tuesday via a post on the fundraising page. Sparks’ 12-year-old brother, Tucker, is recovering after he sustained a road rash and fractured skull, Albro added. He returned home from the hospital Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, a motive for the attack is not yet known, but police said Monday that Brooks acted alone and had been involved in a domestic dispute prior to the incident.
The criminal complaint states that Brooks on Sunday "appeared to be intentionally moving side to side, striking multiple people, and bodies and objects were flying from the area of the vehicle."
"It was like the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people. There was no attemptmade by the vehicle to stop, much less slow down," one witness told police.
According to the complaint, Brooks ignored several commands to stop. When a detective who was working traffic control noticed people jumping out of the way of the Ford Escape, he stepped in front of the vehicle, pounded on its hood, and yelled "stop" multiple times. But Brooks continued driving, accelerating into the crowd as officers chased after him, the complaint states.
Prosecutors also said an officer "observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face.”
Another police officer shot and hit the SUV three times in an effort to get it to stop.
The court set Brooks’ cash bail at $5 million, citing his criminal history, which includes charges of reckless endangerment and battery, as well as failure to follow court orders.
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