The man who mourned the Christmas parade in Waukesha (Wisconsin), Sunday, November 21, is a repeat offender who fled the scene of a marital dispute that occurred a little earlier, so as not to be arrested. Local Police Chief Dan Thompson confirmed the detail and the charges against him during a midday press conference Monday.
Milwaukee resident Darrell Brooks, 39, killed five adults – four women and a man – and injured 48 others as he raced into the crowd gathered for the party in a red SUV. Two children, among the eighteen victims who were hospitalized, are in critical condition, according to medical services.
The whole town of Waukesha is traumatized by this tragedy, which occurred at a time of collective celebration. In 2020, the parade was exceptionally canceled due to Covid-19. This time, by the hundreds, families had gathered, warmly dressed because of the cold, to attend the parade of school orchestras and many dance schools. The theme of the year was “Comfort and joy”.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which is about thirty kilometers away, said a priest and children at Waukesha Catholic school were affected. The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, an association of elderly women, all grandmothers, who used to participate in parades, have lost two of their members.
The terrorist trail ruled out
Darrell Brooks was not being prosecuted when he decided to knock down police roadblocks and move onto Main Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, authorities said. These quickly ruled out the terrorist trail, which suggested a detail from Sunday: the FBI had not taken part in the investigation, leaving the local forces to lead the investigations. On social networks, on the other hand, the usual polarization of public debates in the United States redoubled in force, between racist accusations, promises of revenge and denigration of the traditional media, accused of undermining reality or concealing certain aspects.
For its part, the local and national press immediately seized on the heavy criminal record of the suspect, and underlined the lack of severity and speed of justice towards him. In July 2020, Darrel Brooks had used a firearm in the direction of his nephew, without injuring him. Placed in detention, he was released in February 2021, paying a bond of barely 500 dollars. According to the district attorney’s office, which issued a statement announcing an internal assessment of this catastrophic management, Darrell Brooks had asked to be tried on an expedited basis. But for material reasons, this trial could not be held.
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Driver who crashed into crowds in US Christmas parade was on the run