On Nov. 21 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Darrell Brooks Jr. drove his SUV into a crowd of people at a Christmas parade, according to police. Six people were killed and 62 others were injured.
After spending the last 10 days locked up, Brooks told Fox News that he is feeling “dehumanized.”
“I just feel like I’m being monster — demonized,” the accused mass killer said in his first interview since the parade massacre.
He said that not even his mother has come to see him since his incarceration following the Waukesha incident.
On Wednesday, however, Brooks’ mother, Dawn Woods, issued a statement about the incident in which she offered condolences to the victims and families.
“We the family of Darrell Brooks want to give our condolence to the families of those who lives were so tragically taken and all of those who were injured as well as the community of Waukesha. We are deeply saddened and our hearts are torn to pieces over what happened on a day set aside for a community to come together and celebrate,” she wrote, according to WDJT-TV.
Woods said Brooks has struggled with mental illness for most of his life.
“Darrell has suffered from mental health issues since he was very young. In those years he received counseling and was on medication. When he became an adult a decision was made that he no longer suffered from a mental illness. That decision left him with no insurance or financial means to pay for medication and when [determined] necessary counseling,” she wrote.
Brooks has a long criminal record. At the time of the parade, two felony cases were still open, the Washington Examiner reported.
He also was out on $1,000 bail in a case in which he was accused of intentionally hitting a woman with his car.
Brooks was also charged in a case from 2020 for allegedly shooting at his nephew and another person, The Associated Press reported.
The rest of his criminal record stretches back to 1999 and includes firearms, drugs and domestic violence. He is also a registered child sex offender in Nevada, and in Georgia he served jail time for beating an ex-girlfriend, Fox News reported.
Without trying to excuse his actions, Brooks’ mother did say the justice system had failed to address her son’s mental health needs.
“Instead of offering help and resources to combat the problem a jail cell was given,” Woods wrote.
“We are not making excuses but we believe what has happened is because he was not given the help and resources he needed,” she said. “Institutions that are equipped and have trained staff is what was needed as well as resources in the communities where people who suffer with mental illness live.
“Jail is not the answer, because they get released back in society sicker than what they were when they entered.”
Woods concluded with a call to action and faith.
“[O]ur hearts have to heal and we have to come together roll up our sleeves and get to work and do what ever is necessary to fix a system that has for far too long been broken,” she wrote. “Myself and my family pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus comfort and strength each of you, and give you all peace that is beyond understanding.”
When Fox News reporters met with Brooks and he learned about his mother’s statements on his mental health, he reportedly began crying.
During his court appearance on Nov. 23, he was also sobbing during the recounting of the massacre at the Christmas parade.
Brooks has been charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
The six people killed were Jackson Sparks, 8; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; Leanna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Fox News reported that in his interview with its reporters, Brooks “offered no details about what prompted the carnage” last month.
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