Waukesha Christmas Parade Attack Suspect Darrell Brooks Faces 71 New Charges

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
January 13, 2022 Updated: January 13, 2022

Waukesha Christmas Parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks is facing 71 new charges in an amended criminal complaint filed by prosecutors on Wednesday.

Brooks, 39, a convicted felon with a long history of criminal charges, now faces 77 charges in total for allegedly ramming his red Ford Escape into a Christmas parade in Waukesha on Nov. 21, killing six people and injuring scores more.

He steered his vehicle for five blocks through the parade route in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha according to the complaint. It cites police estimates that the SUV reached speeds of up to 25 mph and says some people landed on the hood, with Brooks carrying them along.

Brooks was charged with six counts of homicide two days after the parade. The new charges include multiple counts of reckless endangerment, hit-and-run involving death, battery, and bail jumping.

Those killed in the incident were Wilhelm Hospel, 81, Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, and Jackson Sparks, 8.

“All of the victims who were killed and most of the people that were injured were walking right down the middle of the road in plain view,” the complaint said. “(The street) was clearly closed to traffic, there were barricades in place and police present to direct motorists for the entire length of the parade route.”

Just minutes before driving through the parade, Brooks beat up the mother of his child because she had not bailed him out of jail several days earlier after he was arrested for running her over with the same SUV, the complaint said.

Days after the Christmas parade attack, Waukesha residents told The Epoch Times they were shaken, heartbroken, and in disbelief.

Elizabeth Boyd, who works at real estate investment and property management company Smart Asset Realty in downtown Waukesha, told The Epoch Times that although she wasn’t at the Christmas parade, several of her colleagues who did attend were left shaken by what they witnessed.

“I have lived in Waukesha my whole life and don’t think anything like this has happened before. It was very hard to process. It really breaks your heart,” said Boyd.

Karla Maldonado, manager at Smart Asset Realty, said she met with colleagues on Nov. 22 to draw inspiring messages on their business windows. She told The Epoch Times that she is having difficulty processing the events that unfolded the night before.

“This is really hitting home. I couldn’t believe it could happen. I don’t think I have fully processed it and most of the time I try not to think about it,” Maldonado said, adding that when her son told her about the incident, she was in complete shock and immediately called everyone she knew at the parade to make sure they were safe.

A business owner in her 50s in downtown Waukesha, who declined to disclose her name in fear of repercussions, described the attack as a “senseless act.”

Brooks has a preliminary hearing in the case scheduled for Friday, during which a judge will determine whether there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial. He is currently being held in Waukesha County jail on $5 million bail.

Cara Ding and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.