Following Fort Lauderdale’s first ever pride parade down A1A and a talent-packed block party on Las Olas, Sunday’s pride festivities moved to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The celebrations went on for hours, but the mainstage turned into a crime scene when two individuals were stabbed toward the conclusion of the festival.
“At Pride Fort Lauderdale, we make the security and safety of our guests a priority. We are able to share that at all our events we require a police presence to protect our staff, volunteers, sponsors and guests,” read a statement from Pride Fort Lauderdale. “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.”
This year’s Pride Festival was held from noon to 8 p.m. and had two stages that were kept populated with performances from drag queens, DJs, motivational speakers and celebrities like RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Todrick Hall.
Vendors from around the community and beyond lined the festival with an array of rainbow shirts, hats, fanny packs and more to sell or hand out for free. Community organizations and corporate allies pulled people in with selfie booths and branded merchandise, ensuring that everyone left the grounds with a bag full of free stuff.
At around 6:30 p.m. however an altercation near the mainstage ended in two people being stabbed and sent to the hospital. While details on the attack have yet to be released, the police have two people in custody so far and have announced that the investigation is ongoing.
One of the victims is on trauma alert while the other’s injuries are listed as superficial, according to Public Information Specialist Casey Lining. Both are expected to survive.
“Fortunately, at the time of this incident, law enforcement officers were on site, successfully intervened and took the accused suspects into custody immediately. While we do not know the names of the two accused, they have been transported to the Broward County Jail for processing by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” the statement concluded. “We are incredibly grateful for the swift response by the officers on duty and their ability to prevent further injury.”
The incident was listed as isolated without further cause for concern, and the festival carried on, ending with a fireworks show at 7:45 p.m.
Festivities wrapped up at The Pub on Wilton Drive at the Official Pride Closing Night Party to mark the conclusion of another Pride Fort Lauderdale.
Visit SFGN/FTLpride2019 to read more of SFGN’s coverage of this year’s Pride Fort Lauderdale.