Boy, 8, becomes sixth person to die from Wisconsin parade crash

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with AP
A memorial at Veteran's Park for the victims of Sunday's deadly Christmas parade crash in Waukesha
A memorial at Veteran's Park for the victims of Sunday's deadly Christmas parade crash in Waukesha   -   Copyright  Jeffrey Phelps/AP

An eight-year-old boy became the sixth victim to die after a man drove his SUV through a suburban Milwaukee Christmas parade on Sunday.

The suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr, 39, has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

The criminal complaint alleges that he steered side-to-side with the intent of striking marchers and spectators.

He rocked back and forth in his seat and cried throughout his court hearing on Tuesday, his attorney’s arm on his back, as the charges against him were detailed.

His bail was set at $5 million, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 14.

“The nature of this offense is shocking," said Waukesha Court Commissioner Kevin Costello.

Additional charges related to the sixth death and the more than 60 people injured will be coming later this week or next, said Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper.

The criminal complaint said 62 people were injured, up from the 48 previously announced by police.

Brooks is accused of speeding away from police and entering the Waukesha Christmas parade on Sunday night, refusing to stop even as an officer banged on the hood of his SUV.

Another officer fired three shots into the vehicle, but it did not stop.

Five people ranging in age from 52 to 81 were pronounced dead within hours.

Jackson Sparks, 8, one of many children injured,died on Tuesday.

He was walking in the parade with his 12-year-old brother Tucker, who was injured in the crash and was being discharged from the hospital, according to his GoFundMe page.

“This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away,” the page’s organiser, Alyssa Albro, wrote.

The city’s livestream video and bystander video captured the chaotic scene when an SUV sped along the parade route and then into the crowd. Several of those injured remain in critical condition.

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Brooks was leaving the scene of a domestic dispute that had taken place just minutes earlier when he drove into the parade route.

He had been free on $1,000 bail for a case in Milwaukee County earlier in November in which he’s accused of intentionally striking a woman with his car.

Prosecutors said they’re investigating their bail recommendation in that case, calling it inappropriately low.

Thompson said that there was no evidence the bloodshed Sunday was a terrorist attack or that Brooks knew anyone in the parade. Brooks acted alone, the chief said.