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Man With Arsenal of Weapons in His Car Was Headed to LA Gay Pride Celebration: Reports


Man With Arsenal of Weapons in His Car Was Headed to LA Gay Pride Celebration: Reports (Getty/Santa Monica PD)

A man who police say was arrested with an arsenal of weapons in his car told police he was headed to the Los Angeles Pride celebration.

While the Santa Monica police initially indicated that James Howell meant "to harm" the LGBT event in West Hollywood, Lt. Saul Rodriguez later clarified that Howell's intentions are not clear.

What police say is clear, however, is that Howell had three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and a five-gallon bucket of a chemical "capable of forming an improvised explosive device," police said.

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Compounding fears was the horrific attack 2,500 miles away in Orlando earlier in the day, where a gunman killed 49 people in a gay club early Sunday morning.

Howell's car was registered in Indiana, where the LA Times reports his family in Jeffersonville hadn't seen him in days.

Howell was arrested at 5 a.m. on Sunday after a Santa Monica resident reported a suspect was knocking on their door and window.

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The weapons were discovered in his car at the time of Howell's arrest, police said in a statement.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and the FBI is participating. 

Following the Orlando incident, West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath said in a Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials were stepping up security at the annual event. However, it was unclear if that was connected to Howell's arrest.

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