SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com/AP) — A heavily armed man was arrested Sunday morning in Santa Monica, and told police he was in the area for the West Hollywood gay pride festival.
James Howell, 20, of Indiana was arrested on 11th Street near Olympic Boulevard, about seven miles from the event.
Neighbors who saw Howell loitering and knocking on doors called police.
The FBI is investigating.
The arrest and seizure happened about 5 a.m.
Police found three assault rifles, high-capacity magazine, ammunition, a rifle scope and a fuel canister in Howell’s car, a white Acura sedan with Indiana plates.
Police also found a 5-gallon bucket with chemicals that could be used to make an explosive device.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was called in.
Investigators don’t know of any connection between the gay nightclub shooting in Florida and the arrest.
As of 6:40pm Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the man never told police he intended to cause harm at the event, only that he was headed for the event.
BREAKING: Armed man only said he was going to California gay pride parade, not that he meant harm, police chief says.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 13, 2016
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