The FBI is investigating a man arrested Sunday morning in Santa Monica, Calif. where he was found in a car filled with assault weapons. He told police he was headed to a gay pride parade in West Hollywood, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Police told the Times that the man said he was waiting for a friend when they found him in the vehicle with Indiana plates. A search revealed multiple rifles, multiple loaded magazines taped together, and five pounds of tannerite, a substance that can be purchased in sporting goods stores for target practice, but can also be used for making a bomb.
Police have confirmed the man is named James Howell, 20, of Floyd County, Indiana.
#Breaking Santa Monica Police confirm "Heavily Armed" man arrested is from Indiana. His name is James Howell.— Phil Sanchez (@Phil_Sanchez) June 12, 2016
Robert Faturechi, a reporter for Pro Publica, shared a message that reportedly went out to Los Angeles police notifying them of the arrest made in the area.
According to the Associated Press, Howell claims he wasn't going to the gay pride parade to do any harm.
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
While authorities haven't gone as far as calling the arrest a foiled attack, and have not made any connection to the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 50 dead early Sunday morning, security has been heightened at the L.A. Pride Festival. That reportedly includes heavy security and undercover officers in the crowd.
President Obama called that Orlando attack an "act of terror and an act of hate" and called the nightclub "more than a nightclub," saying it was also a "place of solidarity and empowerment."