WILTON MANORS, Florida. – At least two people were hit by a van as the pride parade at Wilton Manors had just started around 7 p.m. Saturday night.
One of the victims died, said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who was in attendance at the parade.
The white van was lined up with other tanks when it hit the accelerator and crushed two people standing ready to participate in the parade on Wilton Drive, as witnessed by Local 10 News reporter Christian De La Rosa.
Police took the man driving the truck into custody. It is not yet clear whether the accident was intentional. Witnesses say the man in custody told police it was an accident.
First responders rushed to help the victims, who were taken to Broward Health Medical Center. The other victim is in critical condition, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue said. Their names have not yet been released.
Trantalis said a third person was injured but in stable condition. Video obtained by Local 10 News shows a man being checked by firefighters and telling people in the crowd that he is fine.
The truck narrowly missed hitting U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was in a convertible participating in the parade.
Trantalis said the truck missed Wasserman Schultz’s car “by inches” before crashing through a door and into a landscaping company.
He believes this is a deliberate attempt to attack the Democratic MP.
“This is a terrorist attack on the LGBT community,” Trantalis told Local 10 News. “This is exactly what it is. Barely an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Fortunately, they missed this person, but unfortunately they hit two other people.
The parade has been canceled, but other festival events will continue, organizers said.
“A tragic incident happened at today’s Stonewall event. Out of respect for everyone involved, the parade has been called off and a full investigation is underway, ”Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton said in a statement.
Activists recently expressed concern over a number of recent anti-LGBTQ + protests. Earlier this week, video captured a man in a truck damaging a colorful pedestrian crossing mural in Delray Beach.
June is Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall Riots, which took place in late June 1969.
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