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Sixth homicide count added against Wisconsin parade suspect

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Sixth homicide count added against Wisconsin parade suspect
Darrell Brooks, Jr., shown in an undated booking photo, on Monday faced a sixth homicide charge for allegedly driving into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last week. Photo courtesy Milwaukee County Sheriff's office/EPA-EFE

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The man accused of causing death and mayhem when he drove his vehicle into a Wisconsin parade last week was charged Monday with a sixth count of intentional homicide, court documents showed.

An amended criminal complaint filed against Darrell Brooks, Jr., added the new count after a child who was struck in the Waukesha, Wis., attack on Nov. 21 died two days later, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and NBC News reported.

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A total of six people were killed and more than 60 others injured after a speeding vehicle plowed into them during the 58th annual Waukesha Christmas Parade.

The sixth victim, referred to as "Victim F" in the complaint, was identified as 8-year-old Jackson Sparks in a verified GoFundMe page created by a family member. The post said Jackson's brother, 12-year-old Tucker Sparks, is recovering after sustaining road rash and a fractured skull in the incident.

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Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee, was initially charged with five counts of intentional homicide during his first court appearance last week. Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper said at the time her office planned to file an additional charge of intentional homicide after learning of the sixth victim's death.

Judge Kevin Costello set Brooks' bail at $5 million, stating he is considered a flight risk due to his "extraordinary" history of breaking the law and ignoring court orders.

The first five victims killed in the crash were identified as Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen,71; Jane Kulich, 52; Wilhelm Hospel, 81; and Tamara Durand, 52.

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The new charge came after Wisconsin health officials said another child injured in the parade attack has been discharged from the hospital.

Children's Wisconsin, which had received 16 children injured in the incident, said in a statement Sunday it was "grateful" to share it has released another child, for a total of nine, but seven remain under its care, including three in serious condition, three in fair condition and one in good condition.

To mark one week since the incident, the town held a moment of silence that lasted 62 seconds for each of those injured at 4:39 p.m. Sunday.

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During the event, which was broadcast via Facebook, Mayor Shawn Reilly, standing before city hall with city officials, said the suffering the community feels from the tragedy will endure but they will not despair.

"From the very first moment, our community has come together to help those suffering, and we will continue to do so," he said. "Our response during the past week and in the future will show that those who care vastly outnumber those who do not, and that evil will not triumph."

They will grieve as a community and heal as a community, he said.

"We will find healing by being stronger and supportive for the families of those who lost a loved one, for those who were injured and for all of those who are suffering because they were a witness," he said.

The community has been asked to display a blue light outside their homes during the holiday to show unity and support for the victims in a campaign titled "Unite with a Blue Light."

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