Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) said Saturday the incident of a driver slamming into spectators “at the start of a pride parade in South Florida, killing one man and seriously injuring another” was “a terrorist attack against the LGBT community.”
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis, who was in attendance, told 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.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-NY) was also attending the event with her staff and issued a statement, marking herself safe. “I am deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade,” 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 continued. “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.”
Not everyone considered the incident a terrorist attack. President of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus Justin Knight stated Saturday that both the driver and the victims of an accident were part of his group.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragic accident that occurred when the Stonewall Pride Parade was just getting started,” Knight wrote in a statement. “Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also a part of the Chorus family. 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.”