U.S. prosecutors say a sixth person, a child, died after an SUV crashed into a Christmas parade on Sunday and more charges are pending.
Prosecutors in the US state of Wisconsin have charged a man with manslaughter in the deaths of five people who died when an SUV driven into a Christmas parade on Sunday.
Darrell Brooks Jr. was charged Tuesday with five counts of intentional manslaughter in connection with the incident in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee. five people killed and injured dozens of others over the weekend.
Prosecutors also said a sixth person, a child, was killed and more charges are pending.
The city’s live stream video and bystander video captured the chaotic scene as the sports utility vehicle raced along the parade route and then in the crowd at about 16:39 (22:39 GMT) Sunday in Waukesha, about 32 km (20 miles) west of Milwaukee. rushed in.
Shawn Reilly, Mayor of Waukesha describe the incident as a “horrific tragedy”, which told reporters that it had turned a decades-old Christmas parade tradition into a “nightmare”.
“Last night that parade became a nightmare. Last night was very seriously injured. Last night, lives were lost during the middle of what should have been a celebration … We experienced a terrible tragedy. We have so much healing to take place, “Reilly said earlier this week.
Authorities say at least 62 people, including many children, were injured in the incident, while several are still in critical condition.
On Monday, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said officials had no evidence to indicate that the incident was a “terrorist” attack. The suspect “intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barriers in a crowd of people”, Thompson told reporters.
“We have information that the suspect, before the incident, was involved in a domestic disturbance – which is only a few minutes before – and the suspect left that scene just before our arrival after the domestic disturbance.
Brooks made his first court appearance Tuesday. He could be heard crying during the proceedings, while leaning with his head almost in his lap, with his lawyer resting a hand on his back.
According to the criminal charge, witnesses told police it appeared the vehicle was moving intentionally from side to side, without any attempt to slow down or stop, as it hit several people and caused bodies and objects to fly.
According to the complaint, a police officer shot at the vehicle and hit it three times, and a detective walked in front of Brooks’ vehicle and hit the hood, shouting “Stop” several times, but Brooks drove past him. The complaint said the detective was wearing police badges and a neon orange safety jacket.
Brooks was released on $ 1,000 bail for a case in Milwaukee County earlier in November in which he was accused of intentionally beating a woman with his car. Prosecutors said they were investigating their bail recommendation in that case, calling it “inappropriately low”.
Brooks has been charged with crimes more than a dozen times since 1999 and had two outstanding cases against him during the parade disaster. These included resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless threat, disorderly conduct, bail jumping and battery.
Conviction on a first-degree charge of intentional manslaughter, which Brooks faces in connection with Sunday’s incident, carries a mandatory life sentence – Wisconsin’s most severe punishment.
Hundreds gathered at a park in the city center Monday night in Waukesha for a candlelight vigil in honor of those lost and injured.
A few clergymen solemnly read the names of those who had died. Volunteers handed out sandwiches, hot chocolates and candles at the vigil, which was attended by interfaith leaders and elected officials.
“We are parents. We are neighbors. We get hurt. We’re angry. We are sad. We are confused. We are grateful. We are all in this together. We are Waukesha Strong, ”a tearful Amanda Medina Roddy told the Waukesha School District.