A driver slammed into spectators with his vehicle on Saturday at the start of a pride parade in South Florida, killing one person and seriously injuring another.
The driver of the van acted like he was part of the Wilton Manors Stonewall pride parade, but suddenly accelerated as he pounced on the victims, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told WSVN-TV station .
The drama happened in Wilton Manors, just north of Fort Lauderdale.
Authorities said one of the victims died of his injuries in hospital and the other victim was hospitalized.
The driver of the van was arrested.
Mayor Trantalis said he believed the act was intentional and was an attack on the LGBTQ community.
“It was deliberate,” he said.
Photos and video from the scene show United States Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in tears as she is in a convertible during the parade.
In a statement Saturday night, Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was safe, but deeply shaken and devastated by the loss of a life.
I am so heartbroken by what happened at this celebration , she said.
We were at the start of the parade, right across from Fort Lauderdale High School , spectator Christina Currie told the South Florida SunSentinel.
Suddenly there was a sharp revving of a truck and an accident through a fence. It was definitely an intentional act just across the lanes of traffic.
Wilton Manors Police said on Saturday night the parade was canceled due to a tragic event .
While authorities are still collecting information, we do know that two people marching to celebrate inclusion and equality were struck by a vehicle , Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement.
This tragedy took place a few feet away from me and my team (from the Broward Sheriff’s Office), and we are devastated to have witnessed this horrific incident.
June is Pride Month, commemorating the June 1969 police raid targeting gay patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City that led to an uprising and served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.