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One dead and two injured as pickup truck ploughs into pedestrians at Florida Pride march

Emma Powys Maurice June 20, 2021
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Florida Pride Wilton Manors

Police at the scene after a pickup truck drove into a crowd of people at a Pride march in Wilton Manors, Florida (Johnny Louis/Getty)

One person is dead and two others are injured after a truck rammed into spectators at a Stonewall Pride march in Wilton Manors, Florida on Saturday (19 June).

The pickup truck driver appeared to be part of the march but then suddenly accelerated when he was told he was next in the procession, WSVN-TV reports.

Two adult men were transported to a medical centre where one later died, police detective Ali Adamson told reporters. The other remains hospitalised with serious injuries but is expected to survive. A third victim is in a stable condition.

The car narrowly missed a convertible carrying Democratic congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was left devastated and “deeply shaken” but unharmed.

Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis, who was at the march as one of Florida’s most prominent out officials, told WPLG he believed it was a deliberate attack.

“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” he said. “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.”

“The parade had just begun and we saw people lining up and ready to move and all of a sudden this white pickup truck dashed right through the crowd, barely missing congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s car by inches and smashed through a gate,” the mayor said.

Detective Adamson said authorities were investigating “all possibilities” with the help of the FBI, but did not say whether they believed the incident was intentional.

Justin Knight, the president of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus said that to his knowledge it was a “tragic accident” and not an attack on the LGBT+ community.

“Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also a part of the Chorus family,” he told local media. “We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.”

Footage from the scene shows the suspect wearing a T-shirt with a Gay Men’s Chorus logo on it, and witnesses said the driver could be heard telling police it was an accident.

Broward county sheriff Gregory Tony tweeted that “authorities were still gathering information” about the incident.

GLAAD released a statement shortly after the horrifying scene at Wilton Manors.

“This apparent attack follows reports of anti-LGBTQ incidents in Florida and harmful legislation passed against trans kids,” the organisation said. “We grieve their loss and demand justice for the assault against them and their sense of safety.”

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