Mother of Waukesha parade homicide suspect offers condolences to victims in public letter
MILWAUKEE — The family of the man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens of others after driving an SUV into Waukesha’s annual Christmas parade is making their first public comments about the tragedy.
In a letter released to media outlets Wednesday, Darrell Brooks, Jr.’s mother, Dawn Woods, offers the family’s condolences to the victims of the tragedy, while also speaking about her son’s history of struggling with mental health.
“We are deeply saddened and our hearts are torn to pieces over what happened on a day set aside for a community to come together and celebrate,” Woods said in her letter. “What was meant to be a joyous day became a day of tragedy and heart ache [sic]. A day that we wish with all our heart would have never happened.”
Woods says that Brooks did not come from a bad family, but instead has struggled with his mental health since he was young. She says when he became an adult, he no longer had the insurance or financial means to continue his medication and counseling, leading to multiple run-ins with the law.
“We are not making excuses but we believe what has happened is because he was not given the help and resources he needed,” Woods wrote. “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.”
“Jail is not the answer, because they get released back in society sicker than what they were when they entered,” she continued. “We all see what a tragedy that can turn out to be.”
Brooks is currently being held in the Waukesha County jail on a $5 million bond, facing at least six charges of first-degree intentional homicide, with more charges possible in the future.
You can read the full letter below:
The Lord spoke to my heart this morning and said to me it is time to speak.
I’ve been contacted by numerous media outlets for a statement and have until now been reluctant to speak. Because of the way that my family and I have been and attacked in the media and whatever I say will be taken out of content.
It is my hope that what I am about to say dose not get edited and will be made public in it’s entirety.
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. We are deeply saddened and our hearts are torn to pieces over what happened on a day set aside for a community to come together and celebrate. What was meant to be a joyous day became a day of tragedy and heart ache. A day that we wish with all our heart would have never happened.
Darrell did not come from a bad family like many people have said. He came from a loving christian family and is the grandson of ministers. Darrell has suffered from mental health issues since he was very young. In those years he received counseling and was on medication. When he became an adult a decision was made that he no longer suffered from a mental illness. That decision left him with no insurance or financial means to pay for medication and when determind necessary counseling. Mental illness is not cheap to treat but what’s more important dollars spent on treatment and recouses or lives lost.
Instead of offering help and resources to combat the problem a jail cell was given. Over and over again. When mental illness is not properly treated the person becomes sicker and sicker. It doesn’t go away once a person becomes an adult.
We are not making excuses but we believe what has happened is because he was not given the help and resources he needed. 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.
Jail is not the answer, because they get released back in society sicker than what they were when they entered . We all see what a tragedy that can turn out to be.
We as a society must take mental illness seriously by fixing a broken system or suffer the consequences,
sad as it is to say what happened in Waukesha will keep happening all over this country, in one form or another with more innoncent lives lost and grieving families and communities.
Mental illness is real and the system is broken it can and must be fixed NOW, not next year or with a new legislation NOW. So many like Darrell that have fallen through the cracks because of a broken system that no one cared to address, can get the help they so desperately need.
Mental illness affects every walk of life and dwells in every community.
It’s lives in our homes, it lives next door, it’s in our school’s, the grocery store, shopping malls, movie theater and other places of entertainment, and places of worship, and many other places in our communities even at parades.
What next you say, first our hearts have to heal and we have to come together roll up our sleeves and get to work and do what ever is necessary to fix a system that has for far too long been broken. Myself and my family pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus comfort and strength each of you, and give you all peace that is beyond understanding.
I also ask respectfully that the media pleae to not invade my home, not to call or send emails, myself and my family need out time to grieve as well.
May Bless each and everyone of you.
Dawn Woods and family
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