Waukesha parade: Man charged with homicide as boy (8) confirmed as sixth fatality

Darrell Brooks (39) appeared in court where bail was set at $5 million

Darrell Brooks (39) - who is accused of driving his vehicle into a traditional Christmas parade near Milwaukee, Wisconsin - has had his bail set at $5 million (€4.4 million) as the death toll from the incident rose to six. Video: Reuters

 

The man accused of driving a car into a Christmas parade in the US state of Wisconsin on Sunday, killing six people and injuring dozens more, has appeared in court charged with homicide.

Darrell Brooks (39) appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday where the court commissioner set bail at $5 million (€4.4 million).

The court appearance came as prosecutors revealed that the death toll in the incident at Waukesha, a city about 20 miles from Milwaukee, had risen to six.

Prosecutors said an eight-year-old boy had died as a result of injuries sustained in the incident. The other fatalities all involved adults ranging in ages from their 50s to 80s.

Mr Brooks was charged on Tuesday with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, according to prosecutors, who said he has a criminal history in three states. The charges were set before the death of the eight-year-old child was disclosed. Prosecutors said more charges were pending.

In addition to those killed, more than 60 people were injured.

Authorities said Mr Brooks deliberately drove a sports utility vehicle through police barricades on Sunday into the annual parade in Waukesha.

Police have ruled out terrorism as a motive and said Mr Brooks, who was out on bail from a domestic abuse case, acted alone.

Police said that shortly before the car crashed into the parade on Sunday, they had received a domestic disturbance complaint involving Mr Brooks.

Police said they were not pursuing Mr Brooks when he drove his car through the parade route, but one officer fired shots to try to stop the sport utility vehicle.

Heavy hearts

Among the adults who died in the incident on Sunday were some members of the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies” parade group.

“Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our grannies and volunteers,” the group said on Facebook on Tuesday, adding some of the injured members were in stable condition and one had been released from a hospital

The injured included at least 18 children who suffered facial abrasions, broken bones and serious head injuries and were taken to Wisconsin Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

The $5 million bail term set on Tuesday came after Mr Brooks was released from custody in another case on November 11th after posting $1,000 cash bond, an amount that the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office now says was “inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges” against him.

The $1,000 bail in the previous case was set after Brooks was charged on November 5th with obstructing an officer, battery, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping in a domestic abuse case, prosecutors and state court records show.

Shortly before Sunday’s attack on the parade, police received a domestic disturbance complaint involving Mr Brooks and a knife, Waukesha police Chief Daniel Thompson said.