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Man with arms cache in car sought to ‘harm’ LA Gay Pride parade arrested

world Updated: Jun 13, 2016 07:32 IST
AFP
AFP
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Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies ride along a street in West Hollywood, California, during the gay pride Parade on Sunday. A heavily armed man arrested in Southern California told police he was in the area for West Hollywood's gay pride parade. (AP)

A man whose car contained a cache of weapons and bomb-making materials was arrested on Sunday after telling police he wanted to “harm” the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade, authorities said.

James Howell, 20, was detained in nearby Santa Monica with multiple weapons, ammunition and bomb-making materials in his car, which had Indiana license plates, police said.

The arrest came just hours after 50 people were massacred at a gay nightclub in Florida.

Santa Monica police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said on Twitter that Howell told officers about “wanting to harm (the) Gay Pride event,” in reference to the annual L.A. Pride parade that took place in Hollywood on Sunday amid beefed up security.

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Los Angeles county sheriff's deputies watch over the 46th annual Los Angeles LGBT Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida earlier in the morning. (Reuters)

Santa Monica police said in a statement that Howell was arrested after a resident reported a prowler knocking on their door and window at around 5.00 am.

When officers responded, they found Howell sitting in a car with three assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and ammunition, the statement said.

“Additionally, officers discovered a five-gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device,” it added.

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Seabrooks said there was no known connection between Howell and the carnage in Orlando, Florida -- the worst mass shooting in US history.

Authorities said they had considered calling off the parade but then decided to go forward while beefing up security, including placing undercover police in the crowd.

The march went ahead without incident.

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