One person is dead and two others are injured after a truck ran into the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Fla.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis spoke with local TV station WPLG about the incident. Trantalis, one of Florida’s most prominent out officials who was at the event, at first characterized the tragedy as intentional.
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis said initially. “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.”
The vehicle narrowly missed hitting a convertible carrying U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, according to WPLG. Video from the scene confirms Schultz was in a nearby vehicle.
“This white pickup truck dashed right through the crowd, barely missing Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s car by inches, and just dashed, cut through, smashed through a gate, smashed into a landscaping company, and he hit two people,” Trantalis said.
Later, however, Trantalis said he was mistaken. “As the facts continue to be pieced together, a picture is emerging of an accident in which a truck careened out of control,” he said Sunday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “My heart breaks for all impacted by this tragedy.”
Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton confirmed the Pride event was immediately stopped and called off. Wilton Manors City Commissioner Chris Caputo tweeted that "it seems increasingly probable it was an accident."
“A tragic incident occurred at today’s Stonewall event. Out of respect for everyone involved, the parade has been canceled and a thorough investigation is being conducted,” Newton said in a statement.
Some reports online indicate the driver of the truck was wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus shirt at the time. Video shows that he had been taken into custody.
GLAAD released a statement shortly after it happened.
“This apparent attack follows reports of anti-LGBTQ incidents in Florida and harmful legislation passed against trans kids,” the organization said. “We grieve their loss and demand justice for the assault against them and their sense of safety.” Other organizations including PFLAG also released statements.
"As reports come in and more details unfold, we send love to our #LGBTQ family and all those impacted by the events that took place today at the #Pride event in #WiltonManors—including our #PFLAG chapter members," they tweeted.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also notably signed a so-called anti-riot bill this year that made it legal for someone to drive a vehicle into protesters if they feel threatened.