It is a tragic incident that brings mourning to the LGBT community and about which many questions still remain. The driver of a pickup truck struck several people gathered for a gay pride parade in the United States on Saturday, killing at least one man, local 10 News outlet reported. The incident, which we do not yet know if it was a deliberate assault, occurred at the start of the LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, queers) parade in the town of Wilton Manors (Florida, southeast), near Fort Lauderdale. The driver of the van was arrested and then taken into police custody.
The vehicle had lined up with the floats participating in the parade, but sped up and struck several people, all members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Choir.
“To my knowledge, it was not an attack on the LGBTQ community because the driver of the vehicle was also a member of the choir and was part of our family,” said Justin Knight, the president of the association.
Before saying that "witnesses said they heard the driver tell the police that it was an accident."
A targeted member of Congress?
In the procession, the rapid intervention of many volunteers was not enough to avoid the tragedy.
The two main victims were taken to the nearby Broward medical center, where one of them was pronounced dead.
The other victim is expected to survive, local police member Ali Adamson told reporters as the FBI joined the investigation on Saturday night.
BREAKING: At least 2 people have been hit by a truck at the beginning of the @WiltonManorsCty #Pride parade.
@delarosaWPLG was only yards away at the time.
He spoke with @DeanTrantalis.
@ WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/CRRmGz0a12
- Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) June 19, 2021
“This is a terrorist attack on the LGBT community,” said Dean Trantalis, the Democratic mayor of the city of Fort Lauderdale. “The van was actually aimed at the car of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, which was in a convertible, but narrowly missed it,” he continues. “So it was a deliberate, targeted and premeditated attack. The attacker missed his goal but unfortunately hit two other people ”.
"I am deeply devastated that a life was lost in the Wilton Manors Pride Parade," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “I am safe and would like to thank our first responders for their heroic efforts as police and emergency medical personnel responded quickly. We pray for the victims and their relatives and will provide all possible assistance to the police in their investigation. "