Unnerving new details are emerging after six people were killed and more than 60 others were injured when an SUV drove through crowds of people at a Wisconsin Christmas parade over the weekend.
In the criminal complaint, filed in Waukesha County court on Tuesday, harrowing new details emerged, including the efforts of two police officers to try to stop the vehicle during the rampage.
The suspect allegedly veered his car into parade participants and spectators, driving in a "zig zag motion" to strike as many people as possible, according to the complaint.
At least three police officers made contact with the vehicle, with two yelling at him to stop and one opening fire, striking the vehicle three times.
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One of the officers said that the suspect had "no emotion" on his face as he sped through the parade route.
On Tuesday, 39-year-old Darrell Brooks was officially charged with five counts of intentional homicide in connection with the incident, which occurred Sunday evening in Waukesha.
Brooks is accused of deliberately driving his vehicle through crowds and parade participants, leaving six people dead and at least 62 others hurt.
The sixth victim, identified by family as an 8-year-old boy, passed away on Tuesday. Prosecutors say a sixth charge of intentional homicide will soon be approved against Brooks, who faces life in prison if convicted on any of the counts he currently faces.
One detective, who was working traffic control for the city during the parade, was near the staging area for parade participants, reported to the court that he heard calls on radio about two people fighting in the area of White Rock School.
A few minutes later, the detective heard a horn honking in an area to the north of where he was stationed, and observed that people were beginning to dive for cover as a vehicle drove southbound on White Rock Avenue.
He then stepped in front of the vehicle, identified as a red Ford Escape, at the intersection of White Rock and East Main, yelling at the driver to “stop” and pounding on the hood of the vehicle.
The Escape continued driving, and turned westbound onto East Main Street, where the parade was taking place. The vehicle was driving at a slow speed, and the detective began to pound on the driver’s side door in an effort to stop him. It was at this point that the detective says he was able to make a positive identification of Brooks.
The vehicle then drove past the detective and into the parade procession, and while the detective tried to chase it on foot, the vehicle began to pick up speed.
Seconds later, the detective began to hear distress calls on the radio, saying that the vehicle was hitting pedestrians on Main Street.
That detective observed at least three individuals who had been killed instantly when they were struck by the vehicle, and saw numerous individuals who had been hurt.
Another police officer was assisting with traffic control at East Main Street and North East Avenue at approximately 4:38 p.m. when he received a call that an SUV was driving along the parade route. He then saw the vehicle traveling on White Rock Avenue and approaching East Main Street.
As the vehicle continued traveling on Main, the officer stood in front of the vehicle and yelled at the driver to stop. The officer estimated that the vehicle was traveling at approximately 25 miles per hour at the time. He also caught sight of the driver.
“Officer Butryn observed the driver looking straight ahead, directly at him, and it appeared he had no emotion on his face,” the complaint read.
The officer reported that the vehicle continued westbound on Main Street, and as it approached Martin Street, it appeared to gain speed.
After briefly appearing to come to a stop, the vehicle then began to rapidly accelerate near Barstow Street, and took an abrupt left turn into a crowd of parade participants.
“At this point, it was clear to Officer Butryn that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible,” the complaint read.
The officer began to encounter individuals who had been struck by the vehicle, and he continued to chase after the vehicle on foot.
A third officer observed the vehicle traveling on West Main Street, and as it approached Wisconsin Avenue, the officer opened fire, striking the vehicle three times.
Witnesses quoted in the complaint painted a harrowing picture, saying that the vehicle appeared to be deliberately targeting pedestrians while avoiding other vehicles.
“As I continued to watch the SUV, it continued to drive in a zig zag motion,” one witness said. “There was no attempt made by the vehicle to stop, much less slow down.”
Brooks was later taken into custody, and now faces homicide charges in connection with the case. His bail was set at $5 million, and strict conditions were imposed should he raise enough money to post bail.