An Indiana man showed up to L.A. in hopes to harm folks at L.A. Pride.
A white man named, James Howell, had a lot of weapons, ammunition and explosive-making materials in his car. When questioned by the police, he said that he wanted to “to harm Gay Pride event.”
At a news conference Sunday afternoon, police stressed they were still trying to figure out what Howell planned to do with the weapons.source
Federal and local law enforcement decided against canceling the annual parade, which went forward Sunday morning under tightened security. Investigators are now trying to piece together what happened but said they don’t believe there is any connection between the incident and the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed at least 50 people overnight.
Early Sunday, Santa Monica police received a call about a suspected prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street. Patrol officers responded and encountered an individual who told officers he was waiting for a friend, according to a law enforcement source familiar with details of the arrest. That led officers to inspect the car and find several weapons — including three rifles, one of them an “assault rifle” — and a lot of ammunition as well as tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create a pipe bomb. Police said the substance was in a five-gallon bucket. The car had Indiana plates.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said the suspect told police he was going to the Pride parade to look for a friend. Authorities were looking for that individual.
Santa Monica police spokesman Saul Rodriguez said detectives are “not aware of what the suspect’s intentions were at this point.”
Neighbors called police after he was spotted knocking on doors and “loitering in the area,” Rodriguez said.
Santa Monica police continued to search the suspect’s white Acura on Sunday morning. All four of the car’s doors were open and a green blanket, red gasoline canister and several other smaller items were being piled on the sidewalk next to it.
“They found him with weapons that were very disconcerting," said one source, adding officials are "taking the appropriate safety precautions."