Waukesha parade suspect charged with 5 counts of homicide; prosecutors announce 6th death

·2 min read

Darrell Brooks, the Wisconsin man who was arrested and accused of driving an SUV into crowds at the Waukesha Christmas parade Sunday, was charged Tuesday with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

Prosecutors said that a sixth person, a minor, was confirmed to have died Tuesday and that another intentional homicide charge is expected to be added within a week.

Brooks, 39, is accused of driving a maroon SUV directly through the parade as it proceeded down Main Street, striking people and a float, police said Sunday night.

Six people were killed, and over 40 others were injured.

In over a decade before the incident, Brooks had accrued an extensive criminal record, with arrests for sexual abuse, cannabis possession, battery and domestic abuse, according to records.

Brooks’ record, which was reviewed at his hearing, factored into the decision to set cash bail at $5 million with extensive conditions.

"It's extraordinarily high, but it's an extraordinarily big case," said Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin M. Costello.

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan L. Opper said: "There's a long history of flights, obstruction, bail-jumping-type behavior, your honor. It's remarkable that these are violations all around the state of Wisconsin."

Brooks sat hunched over, rocking in his seat and apparently crying, as Costello read the charges.

Brooks had posted $1,000 bail on Nov. 11 to secure his freedom less than a week after he was charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, jumping bail, recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and battery, which were connected to domestic abuse allegations.

Police said Sunday that they had been called to respond to a domestic disturbance involving Brooks and a knife before they were redirected to the parade route.

Brooks is alleged to have fled the domestic disturbance in the maroon SUV and then driven through the parade.

“Was there an initial complaint of a knife being involved? Yes,” Police Chief Daniel Thompson said Sunday. “Do we know if there actually was one there? We don’t know, because we didn’t even make it there. We ended up immediately responding to the crisis.”

Prosecutors in Wisconsin admitted Monday that they had asked for "inappropriately" low bail for Brooks on charges related to domestic abuse allegations.

Doorbell camera video recorded less than a mile from the parade route, which was obtained Tuesday by NBC News, shows the moments before Brooks was arrested.

Brooks can be seen begging a resident of the home, Daniel Rider, for help, saying that he was waiting for an Uber ride and that he was homeless. After police arrived, Brooks was arrested.

Brooks is due back in court Jan. 14.

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