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Cops: Waukesha Suspect Was Involved in Domestic Disturbance Minutes Earlier

Darrell Brooks faces 5 counts of first-degree intentional homicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2021 2:25 PM CST
Cops: Waukesha Suspect Was Involved in Domestic Disturbance Minutes Earlier
This Nov. 3, 2021 photo provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office shows Darrell Brooks.   (Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – The man accused of driving into a Christmas parade in Waukesha Sunday, killing five people and injuring almost 50 others, had been involved in a domestic disturbance just minutes earlier, police in the Wisconsin city said Monday. Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said "the suspect left that scene just prior to our arrival to that domestic disturbance," CNN reports. He said police were not pursuing the suspect when he broke through barriers and plowed into the parade. The chief said police are referring five counts of first-degree intentional homicide against suspect Darrell Brooks, 39, and additional charges are expected. He said there is no sign that this was a terrorist incident, or that Brooks knew anybody in the parade. More:

  • One officer fired shots. Thompson said one officer fired shots at the suspect as he drove into the crowd, but he had to stop firing due to the number of people in the area. The chief said no bystanders were hit by the officer's shots.

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  • Oldest victim was 81. The parade marchers hit by the speeding SUV included members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies group, the AP reports. Thompson said the five people killed include four women, ages 52 to 79. and an 81-year-old man
  • Six children in critical condition. Amy Drendel, director of the Emergency Department and Trauma Center, at Wisconsin Children's, said 18 children, including three sets of siblings, were brought to the hospital Sunday night. Six are in critical condition and three are in serious condition. "Injuries ranged from facial abrasions to broken bones to serious head injuries," Drendel said, per CNN. "Six of these patients were sent to the operating room last night and two additional patients are undergoing surgeries today."

  • Brooks was out on bail. Officials have confirmed that Brooks was out on $1,000 bail from a case earlier this month in which he was accused of running over the mother of his child, the New York Times reports. The district attorney's office said the bail was "inappropriately low" and it is "conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation."
  • A long criminal record. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Brooks has been charged with crimes 16 times since 1999. A decade ago, a Milwaukee police officer worried that he was going to be run over during a traffic stop jumped inside Brooks' vehicle, wrestled him for control of the steering wheel, and removed the keys.
(Read more Waukesha parade stories.)

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