The incident occurred this Saturday, at the start of an LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, queers) parade in the town of Wilton Manors (Florida), near Fort Lauderdale.
The van appeared to be part of the procession. But is it an accident or a deliberate act of the driver, who was arrested and taken into custody? Police said they were investigating all leads.
“The white van had lined up with the floats participating in the parade, but it sped up and hit several pedestrians, before crashing into a nursery,” Local 10 News reported. “Two men were transported to a medical center, where one of them died,” said police officer Ali Adamson.
Accident or “terrorist attack”?
The driver and the victims are all members of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, according to a statement from the group’s president, Justin Knight. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this unfortunate accident which occurred as the Stonewall Pride Parade had just started,” he said. “To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” he added.
Dean Trantalis, Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, for his part, told Local 10 News that the van was in fact aimed at the car of Democratic Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, which was in a convertible, but had it narrowly missed. “This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” he said. “This is exactly what it is. Not really an accident. It was deliberate and it was targeted against a specific person. Fortunately, he missed that person, but unfortunately he missed two others ”.
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