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8-year-old dies from injuries sustained in Waukesha Christmas parade attack, church announces

Waukesha
People light candles at a makeshift memorial during a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 22, 2021, the day after a vehicle drove through a Christmas parade killing five people. |

A Pentecostal church in Wisconsin has confirmed that a child member of its congregation has died from injuries sustained in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack on Sunday. 

LifePoint Church of Mukwonago, located about 13 miles from Waukesha, posted a statement on Facebook Tuesday stating that two children — 12-year-old Tucker Sparks and 8-year-old Jackson Sparks — were among those critically injured when an SUV plowed into the parade.

The incident killed six people and injured over 60. 

The church noted that Jackson Sparks had “sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.” He had brain surgery on Sunday night but passed away on Tuesday. 

Tucker Sparks is recovering “by the grace of God” and expects to return home soon.

“Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family,” the church’s Facebook post reads. 

“They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus.”

Jackson Sparks had marched in the parade with the Waukesha Blazers little-league baseball team when the SUV plowed into the event.

“Jackson was a sweet, talented boy who was a joy to coach,” said Waukesha Blazers President Jeff Rogers in a statement posted to the team’s Facebook page.

“He was an awesome utility player and played on the Blazers Wolfpack team. Jackson was tender-hearted with a contagious smile. He was the little guy on the team that everyone supported. You couldn’t help but love him.”

In addition to Jackson, the other confirmed fatalities from the parade attack include 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen, 52-year-old Tamara Durand, 52-year-old Jane Kulich and 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel.

WARNING: The video below shows the hit and run at the Waukesha Christmas parade and some viewers will find it too disturbing to watch:

The Sparks were among 16 children admitted to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin after being injured at the parade, the hospital said in a statement

According to the hospital, two families were able to take their children home. As of Tuesday, six children were listed in critical condition, three in fair condition and four in good condition. 

Others injured in the parade attack include a Catholic priest, Father Patrick Heppe, who was discharged from the hospital. On Sunday, the Catholic Community of Waukesha confirmed on social media that several parishioners were hospitalized for injuries sustained in the attack. 

A GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $350,000 as of Wednesday morning to support the Sparks family as they face mounting medical expenses. The campaign page states that Tucker Sparks suffered road rash and a fractured skull. While he is in stable condition, doctors were closely monitoring his head and spine. 

Police announced Monday that Darrell E. Brooks was arrested on suspicion of five counts of intentional homicide.

Authorities allege that Brooks intentionally drove the SUV through barricades into the parade and drove intentionally into the crowd of people after fleeing a domestic disturbance involving a knife.

“We’re confident he acted alone,” stated Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson during a press conference, adding "This is not a terrorist event."

Thompson said that investigators have no information suggesting that Brooks knew anybody in the parade.

Brooks has an extensive criminal history and was out on bail for a domestic abuse case when the attack occurred. Court records show that Brooks was released on a $1,000 cash bond earlier this month after he allegedly ran over the mother of his child with a vehicle at a gas station. 

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