James Howell of Indiana arrested with assault rifles, ammunition and explosive materials in his white Acura with Indiana tags, Sunday morning in Santa Monica
Claims he was heading to a massive gay pride parade in West Hollywood, Calif
Told cops after he was arrested that he wanted “to harm Gay Pride event”
Police investigate the recovered weapons from supect’s car in Santa Monica. The car had weapons, ammunition and headed for gay pride parade
SWAT and FBI on the scene at this morning’s shooting in Orlando Fl
Police searching the white accura after a tipoff
A man who said he was heading to a massive gay pride parade in West Hollywood, Calif. was arrested with assault rifles, ammunition and explosive materials in his car Sunday morning, police said.
The bust came on the same morning a terrorist in Orlando killed at least 50 people in a gay nightclub, in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the two incidents are “completely unrelated.”
The suspect was taken into custody by Santa Monica Police officers, who also found long rifles, clips loaded and taped together and camouflage clothing in his vehicle.
The explosive material was described as five pounds of mixed tannerite-type powder, which can be used for pipe bombs, the source said.
The man was driving a white Acura with Indiana plates and aroused suspicion by knocking on doors and loitering in the area. He told officers he was waiting for a friend and would then head to the pride parade in West Hollywood.
Victim being carried out of Pulse night club, the scene of a massive terrorist shooting in Orlando, Florida
The driver was arrested and the FBI is investigating the incident, authorities said. He has not been identified and police have not confirmed if he planned to attack the pride parade.
Security will be stepped up at the pride festival, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said there are “no specific or credible threats” to the event.
June is Pride Month, a nationwide LGBT celebration commemorating the Stonewall riots in 1969. West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath tweeted Sunday morning: “Gun violence on #LGBTQ family during Pride Month makes me sick.”
Local authorities said “They found him with weapons that were very disconcerting,” said one source, adding officials are “taking the appropriate safety precautions.”
Coming just hours after the attack at the Orlando club. In addition to those killed, at least 53 were injured in the deadliest shooting in modern American history after a gunman took hostages.
There had been talk of calling off the parade but officials decided to go forward, with heavy security including undercover officers in the crowd.