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A 6th person, a child, dies days after a vehicle slammed into a holiday parade


A sixth person has died after a vehicle slammed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wis., over the weekend. The latest victim was a child. The man accused of driving the vehicle made his first appearance in court yesterday, and his bail was set at $5 million. Chuck Quirmbach of WUWM in Milwaukee has more.

CHUCK QUIRMBACH, BYLINE: In court, Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper announced the death of the child in Sunday's incident. The previously announced victims are four women and one man ranging in age from 52 to 81. Opper also took several minutes discussing Darrell Brooks' criminal history in three states - Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin. The prosecutor asked bail to be set at $5 million.


SUE OPPER: There are not words to describe the risk that this defendant presents to our community - not only flight risk, but the dangerousness that he presents, his history of violence and the allegations in this complaint.

QUIRMBACH: The newly filed criminal complaint quotes police officers as saying they shouted at Brooks on several occasions to stop and contend Brooks' vehicle zigzagged when on the parade route, alleging those killed were hit deliberately. Authorities also increased the number of reported people injured to 62. A local hospital says several patients remain in critical condition.

Brooks' public defender, Jeremy Perri, did not discuss why his client did what he allegedly did. Court Commissioner Kevin Costello called the alleged offenses, quote, "shocking."


KEVIN COSTELLO: Actually, the detail I was not expecting here today, that two detectives - not laypeople, detectives - not only tried to stop this, but rendered an opinion that this was an intentional act. You're presumed innocent, sir, but that's what the allegations are.

QUIRMBACH: Brooks did not speak in court, but The Associated Press reports he was heard crying. He often leaned forward over the defense table, staring downward. Commissioner Costello offered relatives of the victims a chance to speak, but none did.

Outside the courthouse, Judy Daniels says her granddaughter attended Sunday's parade and saw people being hit. Daniels expressed anger toward the accused and support for those affected.

JUDY DANIELS: And my heart and my prayers are not only for my granddaughter, but the whole community, for all the families that have people that have died.

QUIRMBACH: Prosecutors say they expect to charge Brooks with a sixth homicide count. His next court date is in January. If convicted on any of the charges, the 39-year-old faces life in prison.

For NPR News, I'm Chuck Quirmbach in Waukesha, Wis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Chuck Quirmbach is a Milwaukee-based reporter who covers developments and issues in Southeastern Wisconsin that are of statewide interest. He has numerous years of experience covering state government, elections, the environment, energy, racial diversity issues, clergy abuse claims and major baseball stadium doings. He enjoys covering all topics.