On Sunday evening, Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, rammed into a Christmas parade in downtown Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing at least five people and wounding 40 others in what appears to be an apparent targeted attack. Most of the casualties were teenagers and an elderly woman.
Multiple media outlets, including the Associated Press and NBC News, identified the driver as Darrell Brooks. Waukesha police chief Dan Thompson declined to identify the person of interest taken into custody by officers shortly after the attack, and declined to say whether the incident was politically motivated.
Videos of the attack showed a red Ford Escape accelerating into members of the Christmas parade, including band members, cheerleaders and spectators — striking multiple people and scattering the crowd. The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a choreographed dance group that performs in 25 parades each year, confirmed that some of their members died in the attack.,
Witnesses of the horrific incident described how the driver appeared “calm” and was “going from side to side, targeting people,” per the Independent. The police chief said that he did not believe the suspect fired at the crowd, despite early reports of gunfire.
One police officer fired on the vehicle in an attempt to stop it.
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Darrell Brooks’ identity was validated by journalist Karol Markowicz, who posted a link to Brooks’ extensive court record.
Further investigation into the suspect reveals that he has two open criminal cases against him. As posted by Greg Price on Twitter, the suspect posted bond for two felonies and three misdemeanours two days ago, he also posted bond for three felonies last March.
According to the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Brooks has been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others.
Most recently on Nov. 5, Brooks was part of a domestic abuse incident for which he was also charged with resisting arrest.
In that case, a woman told police that Brooks purposely ran her “over with his vehicle” while she was walking through a gas station parking lot after he followed her to the location after a fight. The woman was hospitalized for her injuries, the publication confirmed.
On Friday, Brooks was released from jail after posting a $1,000 bond for the most recent incident. A previous case dates back to July 2020, where Brooks was charged with two felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering the safety of others with a dangerous weapon. Both cases against him remain ongoing.
In a video Brooks uploaded, he admitted to being a child sex trafficker.
Further perusal of his social media activity shows that he also went by the name MathBoi Fly, and published a YouTube rap video and SoundCloud profile.
Social media posts linked to the suspect show that he was in political opposition to conservative Republicans and law enforcement, and even voiced anger at the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who was found not guilty on all five charges relating to the deaths of two people and injuring another during the August 2020 Black Lives Matter-related riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin which were sparked by the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake.
Other Facebook posts tied to Brooks show his desire to exact violence on others.