Man with weapons arrested ahead of LA pride parade

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A man with weapons and possible explosives who was reportedly in town for the Los Angeles Pride festival was arrested Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Santa Monica police responded to a call Sunday morning about a suspected prowler. After searching the man’s car, authorities found explosives, assault rifles and ammunition, including tannerite, which is used to create pipe bombs.

The Associated Press reported Sunday evening that the apparent Facebook page for the man includes opinioned political posts. But it shows no enmity for gays or membership in any movement, the AP reported.

Santa Monica police said in a statement that the suspect arrested Sunday is 20-year-old James Wesley Howell of Indiana.

Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks tweeted that Howell told officers after he arrested that he wanted to harm the gay pride event in West Hollywood, the AP reported.

{mosads}There is no known connection between the Santa Monica incident and the shooting early Sunday morning at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed 50 people and left many more injured.

A city official said security will be increased at the pride parade.

“They found him with weapons that were very disconcerting,” the source said.

The official said the city is “taking the appropriate safety precautions.” 

There were discussions about canceling the parade after the attack in Orlando, but officials decided to move forward with the event, according to the LA Times.

West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath called the news of the Orlando attack “absolutely devastating.”

“Gun violence on the LGBTQ family during Pride Month makes me sick. The deadliest mass shooting in America happened to LGBTQ people on Latin night. While we mourn this heartbreaking loss, we must also rededicate ourselves to the fight for full equality for all people,” she said in a statement.

“No one is equal unless everyone is equal.”

Tags Orlando nightclub shooting

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