Police in Florida are evaluating a Saturday incident in which a truck ran over attendees at a Pride parade, killing one person and narrowly missing a Florida congresswoman, amid conflicting information about whether the deadly crash was intentional.
A white pickup truck accelerated and ran over two people at the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, a city just outside Fort Lauderdale, on Saturday night.
One of the parade attendees who was hit died from their injuries, while the other is in critical condition but is expected to survive, according to WPLG Local 10 News.
The truck was also “inches” away from hitting Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was riding in a convertible at the parade, Trantalis said.
Florida Mayor Dean Trantalis decried the crash as a “terrorist attack” targeting Schultz, labeling it “deliberate” and “premeditated.”
However, Justin Knight, the president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, said in a statement that both the victims of the crash and the driver were “part of the Chorus family” and said to his knowledge it was “not an attack on the LGBTQ community.’
Fort Lauderdale Police Department detective Ali Adamson said at a Saturday night press conference that local authorities, with help from the FBI, are “evaluating all possibilities” regarding the driver’s intent.
“Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also part of the Chorus family,” Knight said. “To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community. We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.
Trantalis (D), meanwhile, who was at the parade, said it was “hardly an accident.” “This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” he said. “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 man driving the truck was taken into police custody. According to Local 10 News, the truck was lined up with other floats as the parade was beginning around 7 p.m. when it accelerated and ran into two people. Witnesses said the driver could be heard telling police it was an accident.