Prosecutors in Wisconsin have charged a man with intentional homicide over the deaths of five people who were killed when an SUV was driven into a Christmas parade.
Darrell Brooks Jr was charged with five counts of intentional homicide over the crash on Sunday in Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb. Conviction on first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life sentence.
He made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday. The city’s livestream video and bystander video captured the chaotic scene when an SUV sped along the parade route and then into the crowd.
Authorities say 62 people were injured, including many children. Several remain in critical condition. Mr Brooks had been free on 1,000 dollars bail for a case in Milwaukee County earlier in November in which he is accused of intentionally striking a woman with his car. Prosecutors said they are investigating their bail recommendation in that case, calling it inappropriately low.
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. –Additional reporting AP