A letter signed by Dawn Woods, the mother of Darrell Brooks, who is accused of killing six people at the Waukesha Holiday Parade last month, offered condolences to the victims and blamed her son's actions on inadequate access to mental health resources.
"We the family of Darrell Brooks want to give our condolence to the families of those who lives were so tragically taken and all of those who were injured as well as the community of Waukesha," Woods wrote in a letter obtained by CBS 58, a local news station in Milwaukee, on Wednesday.
"We are not making excuses but we believe what has happened is because he was not given the help and resources he needed," the letter added. "Institutions that are equipped and have trained staff is what was needed as well as resources in the communities where people who suffer with mental illness live."
Woods said that her son "suffered from mental health issues since he was very young," noting that he "received counseling and was on medication" at that time. However, as an adult, Brooks decided he "no longer suffered from a mental illness" and did not have the insurance or financial means to fund medication or counseling.
"When mental illness is not properly treated the person becomes sicker and sicker. It doesn't go away once a person becomes an adult," Woods said.
She added that "mental illness is real and the system is broken."
Last month, Brooks drove an SUV through the barricades set up for the Christmas parade and struck dozens of individuals, some of whom were children.
He has a criminal history, and "some kind of disturbance" involved him before he drove his vehicle through the parade, according to police. Though he was initially charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, he now faces a sixth count as well.