$5M bond set for Waukesha parade suspect; complaint alleges ‘no attempt’ made to stop
Prosecutor says child has died, bringing total to 6; additional charge expected
WAUKESHA, Wis. — The Milwaukee man now accused of killing six people and injuring more than 60 others by driving his SUV through a holiday parade in Waukesha over the weekend made no attempt to avoid hitting bystanders, prosecutors alleged in court Tuesday.
Darrell Brooks, 39, faces five charges of first-degree intentional homicide stemming from the incident at the Waukesha Christmas Parade in the city’s downtown on Sunday.
According to a criminal complaint released ahead of Brooks’ initial appearance in court Tuesday afternoon, multiple officers yelled at him to stop before he drove into the crowd.
As Brooks drove past an officer and into the parade route, an officer chased him on foot to East Avenue and radioed for an emergency response. Seconds later, he began running over parade participants and spectators, the complaint alleges.
According to the complaint, 62 people were injured in addition to those who died, up from the at least 40 injuries that had been previously reported. All five victims who have had their bodies examined by the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office before Tuesday’s court appearance suffered multiple blunt force injuries.
Multiple officers said in the complaint that if a driver had accidentally gotten into the parade route, there would have been a reasonable exit for the driver to do so before hitting anyone. One officer “observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face.”
Instead, the complaint alleges Brooks sped up as he approached parade demonstrators.
As Brooks continued on, the complaint said an officer identified as Officer Scholten shot at the SUV three times, hitting it all three times. Officials previously said no civilians were hit by gunfire.
Multiple witnesses told police Brooks appeared to be driving in a zig-zag pattern as if to hit as many people as possible, the complaint alleges. Also included was one officer’s recollection that, once Brooks turned left into the crowd, it was clear “this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible.”
In court, Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said a sixth person — a child — died Tuesday, adding she expects to add another count of first-degree homicide to the case. More charges will be added if any additional victims die from their injuries, she said.
After recounting Brooks’ lengthy criminal history spanning multiple states — Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia — Opper asked a judge for $5 million cash bail. Brooks’ defense argued he is financially indigent, which should be taken into account when setting bail.
Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin Costello approved the $5 million bail request, saying Brooks “does not follow rules very well, orders of the court, orders of society.”
“It’s extraordinarily high, but it’s an extraordinarily big case, it’s an extraordinarily serious case with an extraordinary history of this gentleman,” Costello said.
Brooks spent much of the hearing with his head down, appearing to cry as the charges were read.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 14 at 9:15 a.m.
BELOW: Mapping out the key moments in the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy
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