Blood-Soaked Nightmare: Behold The Life, Crimes And The Violent Past Of Accused Waukesha Christmas Parade Killer

Darrell Brooks is charged with killing five people and injuring nearly 50 after plowing through a Christmas parade with his SUV on Nov. 21, 2021, in Waukesha, Wis.
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA Today Network/Sipa USA

Darrell Brooks is charged with killing five people and injuring nearly 50 after plowing through a Christmas parade with his SUV on Nov. 21, 2021, in Waukesha, Wis.
Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA Today Network/Sipa USA

MILWAUKEE — The man who turned a picturesque, small town Christmas parade into a blood-soaked nightmare that left six dead and more than 60 wounded is a career criminal who’s spent over half of his life confined in a go round door of imprisonment, drug abuse and violence.

Darrell Brooks, 39, reportedly used a red Ford Escape to plow through revelers at an annual Christmas commemoration in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, however his life of crime began 22 years ago when he was just 17 years old.

Over vicennial, Brooks would move to wreak havoc across three states as he racked up criminal offence sentences for misusing his partners, raping and impregnating a teenager and a steady streak of other violent crimes.

A analyses of his former times — patched together from court documents, criminal accounts, discussions and public records — discloses that in all parts of his life, not a single social security net caught him, till it was too late.

The cycle of tragedy

Brooks was just 11 years old during the time that he was discovered with bipolar disorder and depression at the same time growing up in the inner-city of Milwaukee in the absence of his father, court records reveals.

He was grant entrance to a mental hospital at 12 and tried suicide many times in his early years after losing his grandmother and watching his father abuse his mom, papers declares.

“I didn’t have a father growing up, so my mom was stuck raising me and my older sister. We were on welfare for most of my childhood,” Brooks wrote in a 2007 letter to a judge.

“My father was an alcoholic who was very abusive to my mom. My father’s dad was also an alcoholic,” he wrote. “I grew up in the inner-city full of drugs and prostitution.”

Brooks asserted in the letter that his mother, a Christian woman with Southern roots, manoeuvre him away from trouble on the streets yet in spite of her best attempts, Brooks would go on to follow in his father’s footsteps.

He in the end became an abuser, a persistent domestic abuser susceptible to violence and threats — and used a vehicle as a weapon on many occasions, authorities said.

Brooks expressed sorrow and regret to the judge in his 2007 letter that he knew what it was like “to have your own flesh and blood walk out on you” and asserted he just wanted to give his kids what he never had:

“a father.”

On the other hand, Brooks had so far deserted his firstborn son before the child was 3 months old.

“He disappeared,” the kid’s mother told The Post in the course of a the latest discussion. “I’ve done all of this on my own, raised my child by myself.”

The woman initiated a paternity case in Waukesha County for negligence to pay child support that is still ongoing to this day.

Darrell Brooks speaks about his arrest and conviction in Nevada for having sex with a 16 year old.

A life of crime

Year after Brooks was charged with his first felony in 1999 at age 17 for considerable battery planning bodily harm, he was given three years of trial period. Still he shortly found himself matted up in the law one more time, being hit with wrongdoing charges in 2002 and 2003 over unconnected incidents.

In 2005, he changed position to Reno, Nevada, in a move for a fresh start yet within a year, he was charged with statutory sexual seduction and contributing to the criminal behavior of a minor after he raped and impregnated a teen girl who he asserts told him she was 18 at the time.

He settled the case by pleading guilty still was ordered not to contact the victim — a necessary condition he constantly violated by calling the teen using a stolen phone card and challenging her at a bus stop, landing him back in jail where he served just 129 days, records show.

Due to that sentence, Brooks was forced to register as a sex offender in the state and during his time behind bars, he took part in a 2007 documentary called

“Crystal Darkness.”

Darrell Brooks raps on video with the same vehicle he is accused of using to mow down over 40 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

He disclosed to filmmaker Logan Needham concerning his struggles with methamphetamine and his non-fulfillment as a father.

“I thought I would be this wonderful father, the greatest dad ever … I’m going to give him everything that I didn’t have. Then it’s like, reality setting in. You actually become the drug,”

Brooks said in the film of his addiction.

Needham told The Post he recalled Brooks “seemed very genuine” in his inclination to turn his life around.

“We interviewed people who killed and other really bad stuff, and now they were reaping the consequences from that,”

Needham said this week.

“It was always very sad. But with [Brooks], I felt like he definitely had remorse. And I think he felt bad about the decisions he had made to land him where he was.”

Needham said during several years, he would occasionally get updates on the inmates he had a discussion with, yet he lost track of Brooks and said he was surprised to hear he was the suspect linked to the Waukesha Christmas parade disaster.

Escalating violence

In the middle of 2009 and 2011, Brooks was in and out of jail for a number of crimes, inclusive of resisting or obstructing an officer, strangulation and suffocation.

Throughout 2011 bust, he was charged with restricting or obstructing an officer for a second time after he was stopped for not wearing a seat-belt.

“During a traffic stop, a Milwaukee police officer jumped inside Brooks’ car, fearing he was about to be run over,”

the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel officially announced the incident.

“As Brooks began to drive away while the officer was talking to him, the officer got inside the car and wrestled for control of the steering wheel.”

Darrell Brooks turned a small town’s Christmas parade into a blood-soaked nightmare on Nov. 21, 2021.

In the end, the officer stopped the car and took the keys as Brooks ran off. He was later discovered hiding in a children’s playhouse on the same block and was apprehended.

In 2016, Brooks was raided again for failing to register as a sex offender and in July 2020, he discharged a gun at his nephew in the course of a fight over a cellphone.

Anaji Brooks informed police he got into a friend’s car sequel to the disagreement and was driving away when his uncle

“walked into the front yard with a gun and fired one shot at them,”

departing and leaving the man in fear of his safety, court papers say.

Officers shortly found Brooks with a stolen Beretta 9mm handgun and a clear plastic baggie with three multi-colored methamphetamine pills inside, records reveals.

Darrell Brooks is a registered sex offender in Nevada and had an active arrest warrant in that state, court records show.
© Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office/ZUMA Press Wire

He was sentenced with two counts of second-degree rashly jeopardizing safety and use of a threatening weapon and was ordered to stay away from his nephew and his mother.

In a victim impact declaration procured by the Daily Mail, the nephew wrote that the sudden violent clash

“made me come to the conclusion that this man wasn’t family or kin to me.”

Brooks was facing 10 years behind bars for the offence — the heaviest sentence he faced so far still when the court was not able to guarantee him a speedy trial following a backlog of cases and COVID-19-related delays, he was released in February 2021 on a $500 bail.

Therefrom, Brooks moved to Georgia, where he was apprehended for misdemeanor battery with a designation of family violence a little over three months after he got out of jail, prosecutors stated in a Waukesha courtroom on Tuesday.

The final straw

Sequel to Brooks’ troubles in Georgia, he returned back to Wisconsin, where his penchant for violence increased and became more obvious again he was staying at the American Inn motel in Milwaukee’s Lenox Heights neighborhood with his ex-girlfriend.

Brooks reportedly accosted the woman and knocked her cellphone out of her hand and then went after her in his Ford Escape when she fled.

He caught up with her at a BP gas station about a half mile from the motel and asked authoritatively she get in his car, court records alleged. When she refused, he trucked her in the face and then ran her over with his car, Abandoning the woman with

“swelling to her lip and dry blood on her face”


“tire tracks on her left pants leg,”

police said.

People gather at a memorial for parade victims at Veterans Park on Nov. 23, 2021 in Waukesha.
James Keivom

The ex-girlfriend later told cops that Brooks had reportedly intended to kill her on several occasions, had earlier tried to choke her and was jealous and controlling, as stated by police reports obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Brooks rebuffed the claims and suggested to police the woman made them up because she was drunk.

He ended up being charged with carelessly jeopardizing safety, bail jumping, battery and disorderly conduct in the incident still was given an “inappropriately low” bail of $1,000, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm later said, allowing him free to cause havoc on the Christmas parade about three weeks later.

About 4:35 p.m. that Sunday, the Waukesha Police Department was informed to another domestic disturbance concerning Brooks and the ex-girlfriend in the vicinity of White Rock School.

A Ring doorbell camera captures the arrest of Waukesha parade rampage suspect Darrell Brooks on Nov. 23, 2021.

Still by the time cops could respond, it was too late.

As Brooks dangerously drove away from the school, he barreled toward the Christmas parade, violently shattered through barricades and plowed through revelers and marchers commemorating the yearly event with

“no emotion on his face,” police said.

He left six people dead — the youngest being 8-year-old Jackson Sparks — and dozens more wounded, a large number are still hospitalized.

“There are not words to describe the risk that this defendant presents to our community,” prosecutor Susan Opper told Waukesha County Court Commissioner Kevin Costello during Brooks’ initial hearing.

Six died and multiple people were injured after the vehicle slammed into the Christmas parade.
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps

“Not only flight risk but the danger that he presents, his history of violence and the allegations in this complaint where it is stated plainly that on several occasions he was told to stop by police officers,”

she said.

“Everything was done to get him to stop, and he just simply continued down the roadway, causing death and destruction in his path.”

Brooks was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide still Opper said he will be hit with a sixth charge sequel to the death of the youngest victim, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, who had been in critical condition following the attack.

Each homicide count carries a possible sentence of life behind bars without release.

“I’m an old guy who has been doing this for almost 40 years,”

the court commissioner said in the course of the hearing.

“The nature of this offense is shocking … I’ve not seen anything like this in my very long career.”

Additional reporting by Dan Good



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