Wisconsin parade attack suspect to appear in court as prosecutor prepares charges

The motorist suspected of an attack at a traditional Christmas parade that killed five people and injured at least 48 near Milwaukee was set to face criminal charges on Tuesday at his first court appearance since the weekend rampage.

Darrell Brooks, 39, was due in Waukesha County Circuit Court at 4 p.m. CST (2200 GMT) after authorities said he deliberately drove an SUV through police barricades on Sunday and into the city of Waukesha’s annual parade, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Milwaukee.

Waukesha police Chief Daniel Thompson on Monday said his department would refer five counts of first-degree intentional homicide to prosecutors and additional charges could come later as the investigation progresses.

But Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper’s website said on Tuesday that her office was still deciding what charges to bring against Brooks, a Milwaukee resident arrested near the scene of the carnage shortly afterwards.

Police have ruled out terrorism as a motive and said Brooks, who was out on bail from a domestic abuse case, acted alone.

Police were not pursuing Brooks when he drove his car through the parade route, but one officer fired shots to try to stop the sport utility vehicle, Thompson said.

The injured included at least 18 children who suffered facial abrasions, broken bones and serious head injuries and were taken to Wisconsin Children’s hospital in Milwaukee. Six were listed in critical condition, officials said. At least two of the children were since discharged from the hospital.

The five casualties, who ranged in age from 52 to 81, included some members of the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies” parade group.

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