Police in the Santa Monica area of Los Angeles say they stopped a man who was reportedly headed for the L.A. Pride festival in West Hollywood in vehicle loaded with assault rifles, ammunition, and possible explosives. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks identified the man as James Howell of Indiana; he is said to have told police that he wanted to “harm [the] gay pride event” when he was arrested. No connection has been made to the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub that left more than 50 people dead early Sunday. Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Howell indicated he was going to the festival to look for a friend. He was apprehended after neighbors called the police because Howell was knocking on doors and loitering in the area.
According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a tip from the suspect’s neighbor led to the unidentified individual’s arrest.