On Sunday, November 21, 2021, what was supposed to be a joyful Christmas parade turned to horror as a red SUV plowed through dancers and performers on the street.
Police have identified Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, a registered sex offender with a decades-long criminal history, as the driver of the SUV. After he fled the scene, he went to the home of a local resident where he ate a sandwich until police arrived.
Although most of the deceased were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies dance group ranging from ages 52 to 81, children as young as two years old participated in the parade, being pulled along by wagons.
The Children’s Wisconsin Hospital received eighteen patients; as of Monday, six of those children were still in critical condition. Now, it’s revealed that one of those children has died.
Remembering A ‘Sweet, Talented Boy’ Gone Too Soon
8-year-old Jackson Sparks has become the sixth person to lose their life to the Waukesha Christmas parade attack. Sparks, who loved to play baseball, was described as a “sweet, talented boy who was a joy to coach.”
According to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, Sparks was undergoing brain surgery on Sunday night and passed away from his injuries on Tuesday. Sparks had been marching alongside his brother, Tucker Sparks, 12, who has also been hospitalized in the attack. The page described Tucker as sustaining “road rash and a fractured skull.”
Sparks had been marching in the parade with the Waukesha Blazers baseball team. President of the team, Jeff Rodgers, issued a statement to Facebook saying, “Jackson was a sweet, talented boy who was a joy to coach. He was an awesome utility player and played on the Blazers Wolfpack team. Jackson was tender-hearted with a contagious smile. He was the little guy on the team that everyone supported. You couldn’t help but love him.”
Public Concern Grows Over Brooks Bond Release
Darrell Brooks Jr has a rap sheet spanning 22 years.
Earlier this month he was released on $1,000 bail for trying to *run over* the mother of his child.
This is heartbreaking and it was also preventable.
He was clearly dangerous, and released.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 23, 2021
As The Blast previously reported, Brooks was attempting to flee from “a domestic disturbance with a report of a knife.” Although he was not being pursued by police at that time, he crashed through parade barricades and sped down the street, striking down the performers and dancers in his path.
Brooks, who is currently facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, was involved with another altercation on November 5, when he allegedly attacked the mother of his child by punching her in the face and running her over with his car. He was charged with resisting or obstructing an officer, bail jumping, recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct, and battery.
However, his bond was set at only $1,000 dollars. He paid the bond and was released on November 11 – a mere ten days before the parade tragedy unfolded.
He also has an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Nevada, where he failed to show up to a court appearance in 2016 after failing to notify police of an address change. Brooks was required to inform the police of his whereabouts because he is on the state’s sex offender registry. Brooks was convicted of felony statutory sexual seduction for impregnating a 15-year-old girl.
According to Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper, more charges can be expected following the death of Sparks and over sixty injuries that resulted from the attack. Brooks could face a mandatory life sentence if he is convicted. His current bond is set at $5 million dollars.