A man suspected of being the driver of a car that drove into a Christmas parade in the US State of Wisconsin on Sunday, killing five people and injuring dozens more, was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Darrell Brooks (39) was due in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday afternoon (local time in Wisconsin – about 10pm in Ireland) arising from the incident which took place in the city, which is about 20 miles from Milwaukee.
Police maintain that he drove his SUV vehicle through barricades and into the annual Christmas parade in Waukesha on Sunday afternoon. Mr Brooks who is a resident of Milwaukee was arrested close to the scene of the incident.
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 progressed.
But news agencies reported that the website of Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said on Tuesday that her office was still deciding what charges to bring against Mr Brooks.
Police have ruled out terrorism as a motive and said Mr Brooks, who was out on bail from a domestic abuse case, acted alone.
Police said that shortly before the car crashed into the parade on Sunday, they had received a domestic disturbance complaint involving Mr Brooks.
Police said they were not pursuing Mr Brooks when he drove his car through the parade route, but one officer fired shots to try to stop the sport utility vehicle.
The five casualties, who ranged in age from 52 to 81, included some members of the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies” parade group.
“Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our grannies and volunteer,” the group said on Facebook on Tuesday, adding some of the injured members were in stable condition and one had been released from a hospital.
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. Officials have maintained that six were in critical condition. At least two of the children were since discharged from the hospital.
US president Joe Biden called the attack “horrific”. Pope Francis sent a message of condolence.
Mr Brooks had been released from custody on November 11th after posting $1,000 cash bond arising from a separate incident. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said that amount was “inappropriately low in light of the nature of the recent charges” against him.
Mr Brooks had been charged on November 5th with obstructing an officer, battery, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping in a domestic abuse case, prosecutors and state court records show.