Two people stabbed at Fort Lauderdale gay pride
Two people were stabbed while attending the gay pride festivities at Fort Lauderdale on Sunday (February 24).
Police said the stabbing took place around 6.30pm near the gay pride festival’s main stage along the Seebreeze Boulevard, but clarified the incident was not considered a homophobic attack.
“We believe this was an isolated incident, which began as an altercation between two parties,” police spokesperson Officer Casey Liening, told Local 10, adding: “This was not an attack or an active killer situation.”
Office Liening also said that two suspects had been apprehended in connection with the stabbing.
The two stabbing victims, who were not named, were recovering in hospital—one had a serious injury but was expected to survive, while the second person reported superficial injuries, according to The Miami Herald.
The Fort Lauderdale Gay Pride festival organisers also referred to the stabbing as an “isolated altercation” in a statement to the press.
“There is no indication this was a premeditated act of terrorism designed to cause harm or fear to the South Florida LGBTQ community. All indications are that this was a dispute between disagreeing parties,” read the statement, posted on Twitter by CBS 4 news reporter Ty Russell.
Florida’s LGBT+ community was rattled by violence in 2016, when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people in one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history.
Earlier this month, 18-year-old Randolph Goodwin was arrested after he allegedly made a bomb threat to a gay bar in Melbourne, a city in Florida 70 miles from Orlando. The teenager claimed the threat was made “as a joke.”
Security at Fort Lauderdale gay pride ‘a priority’
Pride Fort Lauderdale organisers said they took the event’s safety very seriously.
“At Pride Fort Lauderdale, we make the security and safety of our guests a priority,” the organisers’ statement read, adding: “We are incredibly grateful for the swift response by the officers on duty and their ability to prevent further injury. Our staff has been instructed not to comment to media regarding this incident.”
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The Pride Fort Lauderdale was the first-ever gay pride parade to be organised in the Florida city. The theme was Carnival and 120,000 people were expected to be in attendance, according to local media.
Festivities began on Saturday (February 23) with a drag brunch and continued with the parade in the afternoon. On Sunday, musicians Todrick Hall and drag queen Ada Vox took to the festival stage.