Man With Weapons Arrested Ahead Of LA Pride Parade
While most the attention was one the terrible shooting in Orlando, Florida that left more than 100 wounded or dead, another possible tragedy was averted.
Police in Santa Monica, California were called to investigate a suspicious person, and they found an arsenal of weapons in his car, including explosives.
A Facebook page associated with the man featured opinionated political posts, however he did not appear to have any particular feelings about LGBTQ Pride month or attendant issues.
From the Hill:
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.
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.”