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Child has died after Waukesha parade tragedy; suspect charged with homicide

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Darrell Brooks

Darrell Brooks 

Suspected Driver Makes First Court Appearance

WAUKESHA (WKOW) — A man has been charged with five counts of first degree intentional homicide after driving into a crowd watching a Christmas parade in Waukesha Sunday.

A criminal complaint for Darrell Brooks was filed in Waukesha County Tuesday. In court, the prosecution announced that a child had died as a result of the incident, and a sixth charge of first-degree intentional homicide will be filed.

Relatives running a gofundme page on the family's behalf identified the victim as eight-year-old Jackson Parks.

Court Commissioner Kevin Costello set bail at $5 million. 

"It's extraordinarily high but it's an extraordinarily big case," Costello said. "It's an extraordinarily serious case with an extraordinary history of this gentleman, of fleeing, of hurting people."

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper revealed during the court appearance that a sixth victim had died and her office intended to file a sixth count.

At that point, Brooks lowered his head to the table and could be heard sobbing.

The complaint alleged that Brooks, driving a red Ford Escape, was on White Rock Avenue, which was filled with parade participants. He later turned onto East Main Street, where the parade route was, despite an officer trying to stop him. The same officer, identified as Detective Casey, chased the vehicle and "observed the vehicle begin to drive faster." 

Another officer, identified as Officer Butryn, said he heard tires squeal when the vehicle accelerated. Officer Butryn also alleges the vehicle took an abrupt left turn into the crowd. 

"At this point, it was clear to Officer Butryn that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible," the criminal complaint said.

The complaint alleges Brooks hit parade participants and spectators. As a result six people have died and more than 60 are injured. Officer Butryn, detective Casey and witnesses all report seeing the vehicle moving in a zig-zag pattern.

Costello said he was taken aback by the complaint because he was not aware multiple police personnel had witnesses the carnage and believed Brooks was purposely targeting people as he drove through the crowd.

"The nature of this offense is shocking," Costello said. "Actually the detail I was not expecting here today that two detectives - not laypeople, detectives - not only tried to stop this but rendered an opinion this was an intentional act."

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