The person shown on video Sunday speeding through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and mowing down multiple people, killing at least five and injuring up to dozens of others, has reportedly been identified as a Black man.
The name of Darrell Edward Brooks Jr. was a trending topic late Sunday night and into Monday morning after journalists and social media sleuths alike reportedly learned the suspect’s alleged identity amid unsubstantiated claims he may have been exacting purported revenge for the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, which was delivered on Friday in Kenosha, which is about an hour’s drive southeast of Waukesha.
Karol Markowicz, a journalist with conservative news outlets, tweeted from her verified Twitter account on Sunday night that, “Darrell E. Brooks, black male, late 30s is the suspect in custody in Waukesha.”
However, law enforcement did not immediately not provide a motive for the apparent act of domestic terrorism. Nor did any officials immediately confirm that Brooks is the suspect.
NBC News reported that local law enforcement was looking into reports that the suspect driving the SUV may have been fleeing from a knife fight before he plowed through barriers and mowed down people marching in the parade. That theory would suggest that there was no intention to target paradegoers. Still, there was no immediate confirmation of that report being true.
Multiple videos posted to social media on Sunday showed a red SUV speeding through the parade in suburban Milwaukee, with graphic footage including several moments of impact the driver made with people marching in the parade. One video showed the driver of the SUV racing past an unwitting child, who was dancing in the street near a curb when the vehicle raced by and barely missed the youngster by what seemed like inches.
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After the SUV sped through the parade and collided with multiple people, the driver fled. Police were able to recover the vehicle later at a home in Waukesha, where photos showed the SUV displaying apparent dents in its front.
A police briefing on Sunday night indicated that an officer discharged their weapon at the suspect’s vehicle.
Police said at least 12 children had been hospitalized from their injuries sustained during the parade.
Markowicz, the journalist who tweeted that Brooks was in custody, also tweeted what she claimed was proof he was the suspect: a link to a page on the Wisconsin Circuit Court website showing an active court case for Brooks, which indicated a person with that same name had been released from jail on $1,000 cash bond earlier this month for the alleged offenses of resisting or obstructing an officer and two counts of domestic abuse (misdemeanors) as well as bail jumping and 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, both felonies.
A growing number of social media posts attributed to right-wing accounts were pushing the unproven narrative that the Christmas parade incident being described as an “attack” was not only an attempt at so-called payback for acquitting Rittenhouse, a white teenager who was found not guilty of murder for killing two people and injuring a third with an assault rifle he brought top a racial justice protest stemming from the police shooting of an unarmed Black man in the back seven times at close range last year.
In addition, other similar sources tried to link the suspect to the Black Lives Matter movement without supplying any proof of those claims.
Before the name “Darrell E. Brooks Jr.” became a trending topic, a local news segment interviewing an eyewitness to the parade incident described the driver as “a Black guy with dreadlocks.”
Photos that subsequently surfaced on social media purportedly of Brooks showed the man with locs.
Here is one of the main photos purportedly of the same Darrell E. Brooks Jr. who allegedly drove through the Christmas parade being circulated on social media. Like other claims, this tweet pointed to an alleged rap sheet from 2016 that claims Brooks is a registered sex offender.
Yet another tweet claimed that Brooks also performs as a rapper under the name Mathboi Fly. As apparent proof, the tweet linked to a music video allegedly starring Brooks rapping. A red Ford Escape — the same kind of vehicle allegedly used in the Waukesha Christmas parade incident — is featured prominently throughout the video.
This is a developing story that will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.
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