Santa Monica – Police were called to the scene of a possible prowler at 4:59 a.m. on June 12. The man was dressed in camouflage, and was lurking around the area of Olympic Boulevard and 11th street. When contacted, the suspect told police he was there for the LA Gay Pride Parade to be held on Sunday morning. [To “meet a friend,” he said.]
But his car told a different story, as police discovered weapons, ammunition, and material used to make explosives. CBS Local identified the suspect as James Howell, 20, from Indiana.
Developing: Evidence gathered at Santa Monica location where man was arrested with weapons before LA Pride. pic.twitter.com/6ALC08Go61
— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) June 12, 2016
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— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) June 12, 2016
When police investigated his vehicle, a white Acura, they found what was described as a cache of weapons, ammunition, and tannerite- a substance used in explosives.
— Rick Loomis (@RickLoomis) June 12, 2016
The Los Angeles Times reported
The car had Indiana plates. The man made comments that he was in town for the Pride event in West Hollywood this weekend. The source said authorities did not know of any connection between the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning and the Santa Monica incident. The investigation has been taken over by the FBI.
Security at the parade was increased. Howell reportedly told them he planned to do harm at the event.
So let’s quickly review: on the same day that a gay nightclub was attacked by a jihadist who murdered 50 (update 49) people and wounded 53 more, a man is arrested in California who was going to a gay pride parade with weapons, ammunition, and explosive material.
Authorities have been quick to say they don’t think there is any connection. Maybe there is maybe not. It’s likely too early to tell.
— KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO (@KNX1070) June 12, 2016
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