Mayor apologizes for calling Pride parade crash a ‘terrorist attack’

Police respond to truck running into participants of Pride parade in Wilton Manors, Florida
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Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) apologized for calling a weekend crash during a Pride parade in a nearby city a “terrorist attack” before all the facts were known. 

“I regret the fact that I said it was a terrorist attack because we found out that it was not. But I don’t regret my feelings. I don’t regret that I felt terrorized by someone who plowed through the crowd,” Trantalis said at a vigil for the victims Sunday night, NBC Miami reported.

A 77-year-old man, who is a part of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus family, was reportedly behind the wheel of the truck involved in the crash. One person was killed and another was seriously injured. 

The president of the chorus said the victims were all a part of the group and added that he believed it was “not an attack on the LGBTQ community.”

Trantalis, who saw the crash happen in front of him, initially told reporters it was a terrorist attack against the LGBT community.

“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis said. “This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.”

Officials later said the fatal crash in Wilton Manors, Fla., appeared to be an accident.

The mayor released a statement on Twitter after more facts arose saying the accident “terrorized” him and said he and others thought it was “obvious” what happened at the time.

“As the facts continued to be pieced together, a picture is emerging of an accident in which a truck careened out of control,” he said.

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