Suspect in Waukesha Christmas parade massacre charged with 5 counts of intentional homicide

Online court records showed a person of interest Darrell Brooks has two open criminal cases in Milwaukee County. 

Updated: November 22, 2021 - 8:15pm

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The suspect in connection with an SUV plowing through a Christmas parade Sunday in Wisconsin, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, has been charged with five counts of intentional homicide.

In Wisconsin, intentional homicide is the legal equivalent of first-degree murder and carries a life sentence upon conviction, according to CBS Chicago.

At a press conference Monday afternoon in Waukesha, authorities said the suspect might have been fleeing an earlier crime and that they arrested the SUV driver near the crime scene, after an officer fired at least one shot at the suspect. 

Authorities also said the incident was not a terror attack and that the suspect might have been involved in a domestic dispute beforehand.

Brooks was accused earlier this month of running over the mother of his child in the parking lot of a Milwaukee gas station with his maroon 2010 Ford Escape and is free on $1,000 bail. A spokesman for the district attorney's office described the state's bail recommendation as "inappropriately low" considering the seriousness of the charges and "not consistent" with office policy, according to The New York Times.

The incident in Waukesha killed five people and injured roughly 48, including several children. Two children are still in critical condition.

The five dead have been identified as 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel, 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, and 52-year-old Jane Kulich.

Authorities said that the suspect drove through police barricades for the parade. 

"He drove right through the barricade and the officers," said Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson. 

Online court records showed a person named Darrell Brooks with a birthdate making him 39 has two open criminal cases in Milwaukee County. 

In one case, filed Nov. 5, he is charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery. Records show a $500 cash bond was posted Thursday, Nov. 19.

In the other case, filed in July 2020, Brooks is charged with reckless endangering and illegal possession of a firearm, according to a wire service report. 

An earlier version of the story stated Brooks was charged Nov. 5 with reckless homicide, according to the Associated Press. The wire service has since changed the charge to reckless endangerment.

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