Suspect in deadly Waukesha crash charged with 5 counts of homicide

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The man accused of driving through a Wisconsin holiday parade route, killing at least five people and injuring 62 others, has been charged with five counts of intentional homicide. Darrell Brooks, 39, made his first court appearance Tuesday where his bail was set at $5 million. 

Susan L. Opper, the district attorney in Waukesha County, said her office is aware of a sixth deceased victim — a child. She said her office plans to file an additional charge of intentional homicide this week. 

Judge Kevin Costello granted the district attorney's request for the $5 million bail, saying the unusually high amount was warranted due to the nature of the alleged crimes and Brooks' “extraordinary” history of breaking the law and ignoring court orders. “I have not seen anything like this in my very long career,” Costello said. 

Five of the victims have been identified as Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Jane Kulich, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; and Tamara Durand, 52. 

In a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, police officers who were working security at the parade said the incident appeared to be intentional. One officer said he initially believed Brooks was attempting to drive away from the parade route until he saw him take “an abrupt left turn” into the crowd. 

The officer said it then became clear “this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible.” He also claimed Brooks' vehicle “appeared to be intentionally moving side to side.”

A witness told police, “As I continued to watch the SUV, it continued to drive in a zigzag motion. It was like the SUV was trying to avoid vehicles, not people. There was no attempt made by the vehicle to stop, much less slow down.” According to the complaint, several witnesses reported the same zigzag pattern to the police.

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