Published: Sun, June 20, 2021

Truck kills one, barely misses Wasserman Schultz at Florida Pride event

Truck kills one, barely misses Wasserman Schultz at Florida Pride event

Justin Knight, president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus, said Saturday evening that both the driver and the victims of a tragic accident at a Gay Pride parade were part of his group, after the local mayor claimed the crash was "deliberate".

Wilton Manors Commissioner Chris Caputo wrote on Twitter that it "seems increasingly probable it was an accident". To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was at the event and said he witnessed the incident.

"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.

In a statement, Rep. Schultz said she was "deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight's Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade".

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL), who was present, was unharmed and tweeted her prayers for those affected. Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Ali Adamson told reporters that authorities are investigating "all possibilities", with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Wilton Manors is just north of Fort Lauderdale.

He said the truck had actually targeted the vehicle of a Democratic congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was in a convertible waiting to take part in the procession, but narrowly missed her.

Trantalis said it was "hardly an accident".

She said the FBI is also involved in the investigation.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said the men were struck within feet of him and other officers.

Witnesses described a pickup truck driver acting like they were part of the parade, then suddenly accelerating and crashing into the victims. "It was definitely an intentional act right across the lanes of traffic", Christina Currie, who was in attendance at the parade, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. May the memory of the life lost be for a blessing'.

The parade has been put on hold and police are on the scene, NBC affiliate WTVJ reports.

June is Pride Month, commemorating the June 1969 police raid targeting gay patrons at the Stonewall Inn in NY that led to an uprising of LGBTQ Americans and served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

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