Jackson Sparks loved baseball.
The 8-year-old was the kind of kid “you couldn’t help but love,” said Jeff Rogers, president of the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Blazers Baseball/Fastpitch Softball Club, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
And on Monday, Darrell Brooks Jr., whose criminal record dates back to more than a decade before Jackson was born, was charged with homicide in the little boy’s Nov. 23 death.
Sparks was the first child to die from the tragedy that took place on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, as the people of Waukesha gathered for the town’s traditional Christmas parade. Sparks was marching with his team.
Then came an SUV, driven by Brooks, plowing through the marchers, leaving five people dead at the scene and more than 40 people injured. Sparks was among them, clinging to life for two days until he died.
SAY HIS NAME!
8-year-old Jackson Sparks. RIP sweet boy. pic.twitter.com/l22xWdLiDD
— Stacy Forrest (@StacyThePatriot) November 23, 2021
A court filing Monday said the child’s bright smile gave way to “craniocerebral injuries from blunt force trauma to the head,” citing the conclusion of a Waukesha County medical examiner, according to NBC.
Brooks had initially faced five counts of intentional homicide before the addition of the sixth count Monday.
Former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher said there might be a legal argument that the first person Brooks hit was accidental, according to Politico, “but when he kept going and knowing what he had done to the first person and didn’t stop, then it was all intentional.”
The criminal complaint against Brooks says he would not stop when an officer banged on the hood of his car, or when another fired shots at his vehicle in the vain hopes of preventing the tragedy that followed.
“The vehicle then got to the intersection of East Main Street and NW Barstow Street, and it appeared the brakes were activated. Office Butryn believed the vehicle was going to come to a stop and attempt to make a right hand turn out of the parade route, onto NW Barstow Street. However, the vehicle then appeared to rapidly accelerate, as Officer Butryn heard tires squeal,” the complaint states.
“The vehicle took an abrupt left turn into the crowd of parade participants. At this point, it was clear to Officer Butryn that this was an intentional act to strike and hurt as many people as possible. Officer Butryn continued to run westbound on East Main Street, trailing the vehicle and its path. He observed the vehicle appeared to be intentionally moving side to side, striking multiple people, and bodies and objects were flying from the area of the vehicle,” the complaint said.
BREAKING: Waukesha massacre suspect Darrell Brooks faces new charge for death of 8-year-old boyhttps://t.co/0ETf4K3o7X
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) November 29, 2021
Tom Grieve, a former Waukesha County prosecutor, said that charging Brooks with intentional homicide instead of a reckless act is supported by the evidence.
“The fact he didn’t step on the brakes: That was intentional. The fact that his foot was on the gas: That was intentional. He could have stopped … He’s the only person who could put his foot on the brake pedal and he didn’t,” Grieve said, according to Politico.
One expert predicted a quick plea deal in the case.
“If I were in this case, what I’d be trying to do was to see how I can put out this fire as quickly as possible,” Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who is an attorney in Chicago, told Politico. “If you let it linger, it’s only going to get worse.”
Brooks’ next scheduled court hearing is Jan. 14, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.