Man accused of driving into parade went to neighbor’s home before arrest

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The man who reportedly plowed into a crowd of people at an annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday turned to his unsuspecting neighbor for help after the deadly incident. 

Darrell Brooks, 39, was captured on a doorbell camera at his neighbor’s home moments after mowing down parade-goers less than a mile away with his Ford Escape.

In the video, Brooks is seen begging for help from neighbor Daniel Rider. Rider was unaware of the horrific scene that Brooks left behind at the parade, so he “actually obliged … playing Good Samaritan and inviting the guy inside, making him a sandwich, giving him a blanket and letting him make a call on his personal cell,” TMZ writes. 

As cop cars start to arrive in the area, Brooks attempts to leave Rider’s home but is located by law enforcement and arrested.

Brooks was booked on suspicion of five counts of first-degree intentional homicide on Monday, the outlet reported. He made his first court appearance on Tuesday where bail was set at $5 million.

Darrell Brooks (Photo: Milwaukee Police Dept./AP)

According to BBC, the five victims have been identified as Jane Coolidge, 52; Tamara Durand, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; Leanna Owens, 71; and Virginia Sorenson, 79. A sixth victim, a child, also died of injuries suffered at the parade, TMZ reports.

Law enforcement sources say Brooks was fleeing a domestic stabbing incident when he crashed through barricades and struck dozens of assembled Waukesha revelers enjoying the 58th yearly holiday parade, according to NBC. 

Reports note that the SUV’s driver collided with a dance troupe called the Dancing Grannies. 

The group shared a message on their Facebook page: “The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible [tragedy] with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade.”

“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts,” the message reads. 

Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson called the scene a “very chaotic and tragic event.” President Joe Biden offered prayers for the community in remarks Monday from the White House.

“Last night, the people of Waukesha were gathered to celebrate the start of a season of hope and togetherness and Thanksgiving,” he said. “This morning, Jill and I and the entire Biden family and I’m sure all of us pray that that same spirit is going to embrace and lift up all the victims of this tragedy, bringing comfort to those recovering from their injuries and wrapping the families of those who died in support of their community.”

“We’re all grateful to the extraordinary work of first responders,” Biden added, “from law enforcement to the emergency room doctors, who are working around the clock to deal with the terrible consequence of what happened last night. My administration is monitoring the situation very closely.”

Brooks was booked and released on a $1,000 bond earlier this month on charges of resisting or obstructing an officer, reckless endangering safety, disorderly conduct, bail jumping, and battery, per the Post report. He reportedly goes by the stage name Mathboi Fly and has shared online music videos where, according to reports, he is rapping in front of an SUV similar to the one in the deadly crash. 

Before the parade, Brooks had an open case alleging he ran over the mother of his child with his red SUV earlier this month.

Brooks could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted for the parade killings. The judge said on Tuesday that his $5 million dollar bail amount was “extraordinarily high, but it’s an extraordinary case.”

This article contains additional reporting from Biba Adams.

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