Mayor: Truck running into Pride parade was ‘terrorist attack’
Update: Fort Lauderdale’s mayor has apologized for describing the crash as a “terrorist attack” before all the facts were known
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) said that an incident on Saturday in which a pickup truck ran into a crowd at a Pride parade, leaving one person dead, was a “terrorist attack against the LGBT community.”
A white pickup truck ran over two people, killing one, in Wilton Manors, Fla., just outside of Fort Lauderdale. The vehicle reportedly barely missed Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), who was riding in a convertible at the parade.
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis, who was in attendance at the parade, told local station WPLG. “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.”
According to Trantalis, a third person had been injured but was in stable condition.
WPLG reported that witnesses said the driver could be heard telling police that it was an accident, however. The man appeared to be wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus shirt. Justin Knight, the chorus’s president, said both the driver and the people injured were part of the chorus and that he believed the incident was “not an attack on the LGBTQ community.”
“I am deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“My staff, volunteers and I are, thankfully, safe. I want to thank our first responders for their heroic efforts as both police and emergency medical personnel stepped into action quickly,” she added. “We’re praying for the victims and their loved ones as law enforcement investigates and I am providing them with whatever assistance I can. I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration.”
–Updated on June 22 at 8:32 a.m.