Wisconsin car massacre toll rises to 6 as child dies, man charged

WASHINGTON • A child injured when a car ploughed into a Wisconsin Christmas parade has died, taking the toll from the tragedy to six, a local prosecutor said, as the suspect appeared in court.

Darrell Brooks, 39, was charged with five counts of intentional homicide, and now faces a sixth murder charge, prosecutor Susan Opper said on Tuesday.

Brooks allegedly steered his red SUV through police barricades into marching musicians, dancers and children in the holiday parade on Sunday in the city of Waukesha, about 32km west of Milwaukee.

The victims killed ranged in age from eight to 81, and included some members of the "Milwaukee Dancing Grannies" parade group.

The child who died was identified by his parents on a GoFundMe page as Jackson Sparks.

In addition to eight-year-old Jackson, four women and one man were killed and 62 people injured, including children, some still in critical condition.

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. Some were listed in critical condition, officials said.

At least two of the children have been discharged from the hospital.

"This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away," wrote Aaron and Sheri Sparks, Jackson's parents. They said their 12-year-old son Tucker, who was also injured at the parade, was "miraculously recovering" and will be discharged from the hospital.

Brooks appeared in court for his arraignment, his face masked and hands cuffed, keeping his head bowed as a judge said he faced multiple life sentences if found guilty over the deaths.

The judge set Brooks' bail at US$5 million (S$6.8 million).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2021, with the headline 'Wisconsin car massacre toll rises to 6 as child dies, man charged'. Subscribe