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Parade Attack Suspect Sped Up And Drove In ‘Zig-Zag’ To Hit As Many People As Possible, Prosecutors Say

Waukesha, WI – The convicted felon accused of murdering six people and injuring 62 more when he drove an SUV into a Christmas parade on Sunday stomped on the gas and drove in a zig-zag pattern during the attack in an effort to hit as many people as possible, according to prosecutors.

Darrell Brooks, 39, made no attempt to try to avoid running into participants and bystanders who were out enjoying the community Christmas parade on Nov. 21, prosecutors said during an initial court hearing on Tuesday, according to WISC.

Brooks has been charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide.

Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper confirmed during the hearing that a sixth victim – a child – succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday, WISC reported.

He has been identified as eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, according to the New York Post.

Opper said she will soon be charging Brooks with a sixth count of first-degree intentional homicide, WISC reported.

According to the criminal complaint, multiple officers yelled at Brooks to stop before he crashed through barricades and drove into the parade.

An officer radioed for an emergency response as the suspect sped past him and into the parade route, police said.

The officer then chased after the suspect’s vehicle on foot.

Brooks began plowing into people and running victims over seconds later, according to the complaint.

One officer said he “observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,” WISC reported.

Several officers noted Brooks had plenty of opportunities to exit the parade route without hitting anyone if he happened to have driven into the area by accident, but that he didn’t do that.

Police said he stomped on the accelerator as he approached the paradegoers, according to the complaint.

Multiple witnesses told investigators the suspect seemed to be trying to hit as many people as he could by driving in a zig-zag pattern, WISC reported.

“This was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” one officer said, according to court documents.

The medical examiner concluded that five of the victims who were killed suffered blunt force injuries, WISC reported.

A total of 62 people were injured in addition to the six who were killed.

At least 13 of the victims who remained hospitalized Tuesday are children, WISC reported.

Six of those victims are in critical condition.

Brooks, a rapper who goes by the name of “Mathboi Fly,” has racked up a slew of criminal offenses dating back to 1999, FOX News reported.

In addition to his lengthy criminal history, Brooks also has exhibited a pattern of sharing disturbing messages and memes on social media, according to the New York Post.

Several posts praised attacks on law enforcement officers, who Brooks referred to as “violent street gangs,” according to the news outlet.

Other posts called for people to carry out acts of violence against white people, the New York Post reported.

Investigators have not released a motive for the Christmas parade massacre, but all the victims who were killed were white.

Brooks also shared messages praising Adolf Hitler, who he claimed “did the world a favor by killing” Jewish people, the New York Post reported.

Brooks is currently a Tier 2 registered sex offender in Nevada, according to FOX News.

His first felony conviction in Wisconsin occurred in 1999, when he was convicted of taking part in an aggravated burglary, FOX News reported.

He was sentenced to three years on probation for that incident.

Brooks was convicted of a felony marijuana offense in 2002, and of obstructing an officer in both 2003 and 2005, according to FOX News.

He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bail jumping and marijuana offenses in 2012, and to resisting arrest and felony marijuana offenses in 2013.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s office charged Brooks with felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety on July 27, 2020, Chisholm said in a press release on Monday.

On Nov. 5, he was charged with felony bail jumping, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, obstructing an officer, battery, and disorderly conduct in connection with a separate case.

“The State made a cash bail request in this case of $1,000, which was set by the court,” Chisolm wrote. “The defendant posted $1,000 cash bail on November 11, resulting in his release from custody.”

One of the recent cases involves allegations Brooks barged into a woman’s hotel room, stole her cell phone, and later punched her and ran her over with a vehicle when he saw her out walking to a nearby gas station, according to FOX News.

Another pending case involved allegations Brooks shot at his nephew.

The nephew was not hit by the gunfire, according to investigators.

In his statement on Monday, Chisholm criticized his office’s low bond recommendation in the most recent pending Milwaukee County case.

“The State’s bail recommendation in this case was inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges and the pending charges against Mr. Brooks,” he wrote. “The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.”

“This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps,” the district attorney added.

Meanwhile, in Waukesha County, Opper asked Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin Costello to set Brooks’ bail at $5 million for the five first-degree intentional homicide charges, WISC reported.

“It’s extraordinarily high, but it’s an extraordinarily big case, it’s an extraordinarily serious case with an extraordinary history of this gentleman,” Costello said as he approved the request.

The judge further noted Brooks “does not follow rules very well…orders of the court, orders of society,” WISC reported.

Brooks’ preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 15, 2022.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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