On Sunday Darrell E. Brooks Jr., a career criminal and repeat offender who was out on bail from a previous attempted murder, drove his maroon Ford Escape SUV at high speed through a Christmas parade killing five and wounding almost four dozen.
He faces five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The five people killed ranged in age from 52 to 81. Among the dead are two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, an amateur dance group for grandmothers, or grandmother figures, that has participated in the local parades for nearly four decades.
Among those injured in the attack were 18 children between the ages of three and 16. At the time of publishing, ten of the 18 are in intensive care, six are in critical condition, and three are in serious condition.
On Facebook on Monday, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies posted a statement:
Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed …. joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue … held us together.
According to the New York Times,
…. Brooks steered the S.U.V. through barricades, ignoring the warnings of officers posted to protect the parade, moments after leaving the scene of a domestic disturbance, Chief Thompson said.
The incident was not related to terrorism, and Mr. Brooks was not being pursued by the police at the time, he added. He was captured shortly after speeding away from the scene, according to the chief, who said he was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene.
… Brooks had been free on $1,000 bail in an earlier criminal case, in which he was accused of running over the mother of his child in the parking lot of a Milwaukee gas station …earlier this month.
Brooks Jr. 39, who is from Milwaukee, has a long, violent criminal history and was freed just six days ago. He has been charged with or convicted on numerous charges over the past 22 years, including battery, domestic violence, cocaine possession and resisting arrest throughout the state.
The New York Times added:
A spokesman for the district attorney’s office on Monday described the state’s bail recommendation in that earlier case as “inappropriately low” in light of the seriousness of the charges, and “not consistent” with office policy.
“This office is currently conducting an internal review of the decision to make the recent bail recommendation in this matter in order to determine the appropriate next steps,” the statement said. ADN