Man headed to Los Angeles pride parade arrested with weapons
A man who said he was headed to the Los Angeles pride parade was arrested Sunday after police found weapons in his car.The Santa Monica Police Department identified the man as James Howell and said in a release that he was carrying “three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition” in his car. He also had 5 gallons of chemicals that could be used to make a bomb.
The man was spotted “loitering” in the Santa Monica area and knocked on a resident’s door, prompting a call to police around 4:59 a.m. local time, according to the release. When police arrived on the scene, they searched his car and found the weapons and chemicals.
“The suspect did make an initial statement to the effect that he was going to go to the pride festival,” Saul Rodriguez, lieutenant at the Santa Monica Police Department, said.
“Beyond that he did not make any additional statement saying that he was going to do anything further than that. We do not have any additional information related to what his intentions were,” Rodriguez said.
The incident occurred hours after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, which occurred at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Authorities do not believe that the two incidents are related, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Los Angeles police increased security around the parade on Sunday, West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath said in a statement.
Parade attendees tweeted images of the march and messages of solidarity for Orlando.
— Cmdr. Mike Parker (@mpLASD) June 12, 2016
— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) June 12, 2016
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) June 12, 2016