Crime & Justice

Death toll in Wisconsin crowd ramming rises to 6, with 62 injured

Washington, Nov 23 (EFE).- The death toll after a man plowed an SUV into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on the weekend rose to six on Tuesday, with 62 people injured, some of them critically, authorities announced.

The number of fatalities increased when a seriously injured child died on Monday. The other five people who were killed were adults.

Waukesha County district attorney Susan Opper made the announcement during the first appearance of the suspected driver of the SUV, Darrell Brooks, who appeared in a court in the Milwaukee suburb.

Brooks was arrested by police on Sunday shortly after driving a red SUV into the crowd gathered to watch a Christmas parade in Waukesha.

Police on Monday ruled out that the incident was a terrorist attack and said that Brooke acted alone, but the motive for the crowd ramming is still not clear. Authorities said only that Brooks had been involved prior to the incident in a “domestic disturbance” from which he was fleeing at the time of the crash.

The district attorney’s office on Tuesday filed five charges of first degree murder against Brooks and said that they will soon add a sixth similar charge after the death of the child.

If found guilty, Brooks could face life in prison under Wisconsin law. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2022.

At one point during his court appearance, Brooks broke down in tears when prosecutors described the events that occurred on Sunday evening.

During the hearing, Waukesha Court Commissioner Kevin Costello, assisting the judge presiding at the hearing, set bail for Brooks at $5 million, which he described as “extraordinarily high,” although he acknowledged that the case itself was extraordinary.

On Tuesday, it became known that Brooks has two outstanding cases against him – although he was out on bail – and has been charged with more than a dozen crimes since 1999.

One of those outstanding cases was for hitting a woman with his vehicle at a gas station on Nov. 2. The woman was reported to be the mother of his child.

According to court records, he was jailed but released after paying $1,000 bond.

The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office on Tuesday in a statement said that it regretted releasing Brooks on bail, calling the decision “inappropriate.”

Brooks has been in and out of jail over the past 20 years and has a criminal record in Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia.

According to CNN, he is on file in Nevada as a sexual offender, having in November 2006 pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor.

EFE ssa/bpm/lll/bp

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