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Suspect with possible explosives arrested on his way to Gay pride parade in Southern California

June 13, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Suspect with possible explosives arrested on his way to Gay pride parade in Southern California

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On Sunday, a man carrying a number of firearms and explosives was caught on his way to a gay-pride parade in Southern California, just hours after the Orlando massacre that claimed many innocent lives.

According to the New York Post, James Howell of Indiana was caught in Santa Monica, just seven miles from the pride festival site in West Hollywood.

Howell, who was just 20-years-old, was detained around 5 a.m. pacific time after someone reported to the police that a man was knocking on a door and loitering in their neighborhood.

He told law enforcement that he was hanging out in Santa Monica before heading to L.A. to meet a friend at the parade later that day.

When police searched his white Acura, they found five pounds of tannerite, which is an active ingredient required for making pipe bombs, along with a camouflage outfit, three rifles, and a security badge, according to officials.

Jacqueline Seabrooks, Santa Monica Police Chief, tweeted that Howell informed officials that he wanted to do “harm” at the parade, but the tweet was later deleted.

Another official in Santa Monica notified the Los Angeles Times that the tweet was inaccurate because although Howell admitted that he was going to attend the parade, he did not elaborate on his motive.

Officials said that no evidence exists supporting a link between Howell and ISIS-linked homophobic Omar Mateen, who was the gunman who went on a deadly rampage at Pulse nightclub in Orlando just three hours earlier.

According to Howell’s Facebook profile, he lived in Jeffersonville and is employed by an air-filtration company. His posts reportedly compare Hillary Clinton to Adolf Hitler.

West Hollywood law enforcement considered canceling the parade following Howell’s arrest but instead went forward with the event with heightened security.

Lindsey Horvath, West Hollywood Councilwoman, said in a tweet: “My heart is bursting with ‪#‎pride‬ that, in the face of threats of violence, my community took to the streets & stood in solidarity with ‪#‎Orlando‬.”

Boosted security was also added to Philadephia’s pride event on Sunday, where tribute was paid in memory of the victims in Orlando.

Haden Reed, who works at an LGBT bookstore said, “It’s scary. …“I had been thinking of moving to Florida, actually to the Orlando area. It’s just so senseless and violent. Terrible.”

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