Police in Santa Monica, Calif. found weapons and explosives early Sunday in the car of a man who said he was going to the Los Angeles gay pride parade.
Authorities were alerted to James Howell, of Indiana, after an individual called 911 about a prowler in a neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reports. “They found him with weapons that were very disconcerting,” a law enforcement source told the LA Times. He added that officials are “taking the appropriate safety precautions.”
When policer officers encountered Howell, he said he was waiting for a friend. Upon inspecting his car police found several weapons, gun magazines loaded and taped together, and a camouflage outfit. Police also found five pounds of Tannerite, an explosive material, ABC 7 reports.
Authorities said the arrest occurred at 5 A.M. Neighbors called the police saying Howell was knocking on doors and “loitering in the area,” L.A County Undersheriff Neal Tyler said. Jacqueline Seabrooks, Santa Monica Police Chief, said Sunday that Howell told a police officer he wanted cause harm at the gay pride parade.
This has since been walked back. “It was a misstatement,” Santa Monica Police Lt. Paul Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, she was given incorrect information initially, which indicated that that statement was made; however, that statement never was made. He did indicate that he was planning on going to the Pride festival but beyond anything as far as motives or his intentions that statement was never made nor did any officer receive that statement,” Rodriguez added.
This story is developing. Check back for details.