Following the slaughter of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, it’s been revealed that police arrested an armed man on his way to LA Pride.
On Sunday, a resident called the Santa Monica Police Department to report a possible prowler.
Officers investigated and arrested 20-year-old James Howell of Indiana after they found three long rifles, ammunition and materials for explosives in his vehicle.
Alarmingly, he told police that he was on his way to the LA Pride Festival, taking place that same morning.
Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks initially tweeted that Howell told officers that he planned to “do harm” at the event, but this was later retracted by the police.
“It was a misstatement,” Lt. Saul Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, she was given incorrect information initially…”
Rodriguez explained that Howell “did indicate that he was planning on going to the Pride festival but beyond anything as far as motives or his intentions that statement was never made nor did any officer receive that statement.”
The authorities are still trying to ascertain what he intended to do at the event, which went ahead as planned, but with heightened security.
There is no evidence that Howell has any ill will towards LGBT people but he was arrested last year for pointing a gun at a number of neighbours.
Note: On Monday, Orlando Police said that the official death count from the nightclub shooting was 49 victims. The killer, Omar Mateen, was the 50th fatality.