One person was killed and another seriously injured after a pickup truck slammed into crowds at the start of a pride parade in South Florida on Saturday night, officials said.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who was at the The Stonewall Pride Parade event, with U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ted Deutch, confirmed the incident on Twitter and said the driver was in custody.
“I’m lucky to be safe” Fried tweeted. “All of us here praying for them and their families.”
One victim was hospitalized while the other died of his injuries, authorities said, according to the Associated Press.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment. It was not immediately clear whether the driver had acted intentionally.
Chris Caputo, a municipal commissioner at Wilton Manors, said on Twitter that it was “more and more likely to be an accident”. But Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told WSVN-TV the driver sped up through the crowd, describing the incident as a deliberate attack on the LGBTQ community.
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Joey Spears, 25, told USA TODAY he was heading towards the start of the parade when he saw the truck driving through the crowd.
“All of a sudden I see this truck take off and go through people,” Spears said.
Spears captured a aftermath video that showed a person on the ground. Spears said he and the people he was with were cornered by police in the parking lot of a local high school for about an hour before being allowed to leave the area. It was then that they started to walk.
“Officially we still walked through the parade because we weren’t going to let anything stop our pride from expressing itself,” Spears said.
Photos and video from the scene showed Wasserman Schultz in tears as he was in a convertible during the parade. A spokesperson for a congressman did not immediately return an email requesting comment.
Several local media reported that the victims were taken to Broward Health Medical Center. The center did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
The Wilton Manors Police Department said in a tweet that there was no danger to the public.
“A tragic incident occurred at today’s Stonewall event,” Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton said in a statement. “Out of respect for everyone involved, the parade has been called off and a full investigation is underway.”
Deutch said on Twitter he was “devastated by the horror we saw at Wilton Manors Pride”.
“I’m so sorry, Wilton Manors. I’m so sorry, my friends,” he wrote.
Florida State Senator Shevrin “Shev” Jones said on Twitter that he was “heartbroken and shocked by what happened at Wilton Manors Pride.”
“Pray and send love to everyone, including many friends,” Jones wrote.
The Wilton Manors Pride event takes place every June, according to the event’s website. About an hour after the incident, a Facebook page for the event posted a video of several attendees walking down the street.
Wilton Manors is a town in Broward County. It has a population of around 13,000, according to the US Census Bureau.
Contribution: The Associated Press