Waukesha Christmas parade: 6th victim, a child, dies, prosecutor says

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Darrell Brooks Jr. was charged Tuesday with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after authorities accused him of plowing his sport utility vehicle into a Wisconsin holiday parade on Sunday, killing 5 people and injuring 48.

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Prosecutors confirmed during the proceeding that a sixth person, a child, had died and that more charges are pending.

Update 6:26 p.m. EST Nov. 23: A Waukesha County Court Commissioner ordered Brooks held on $5 million cash bail, WISN reported.

“The nature of this offense is shocking. I’ve not seen anything like this in my very long career,” the court commissioner said.

Brooks, who did not speak in court, sobbed and hung his head as the prosecutor said the child had died from his injuries, the TV station reported.

Update 5:47 p.m. EST Nov. 23: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel identified the sixth victim as 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who was marching in the Waukesha Christmas Parade with his baseball team.

Jackson’s death was announced on his verified GoFundMe page and was confirmed by his baseball club and his family’s church, the newspaper reported.

Original report: Brooks, 39, made his first court appearance Tuesday. Conviction on first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life sentence.

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Brooks, of Milwaukee, was initially named as a person of interest and taken into police custody Sunday after his identification was found in a red SUV that investigators say slammed through the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade. More charges are possible, Waukesha Chief of Police Dan Thompson said.

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Investigators said that Brooks drove his Ford Escape down East Main Street on Sunday evening, intentionally careening into the Christmas parade and killing Virginia Sorenson, 79; Tamara Durand, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

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Brooks was reportedly fleeing the scene of a nearby domestic disturbance after which he is accused of plowing through a police barricade and driving onto the parade route, WISN reported.

Meanwhile, one Waukesha officer fired three shots at Brooks’ SUV in an attempt to get him to stop, Thompson confirmed.

According to the TV station, Brooks was released from jail on $1,000 cash bail less than a week before the Waukesha parade. That case was filed Nov. 5 and stemmed from a Nov. 2 incident in which Brooks is accused of running the mother of his child over with his vehicle. In that case he was charged with felony bail jumping, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct and battery.