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.
Howell told officers he wanted to cause harm at the event, according to Santa Monica police.
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 clips, ammunition, a rifle scope and a fuel canister in Howell’s car, a white Acura sedan with Indiana plates.
Police also found a five-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.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the agency is assisting the Santa Monica Police Department with their investigation.”
Hours later in West Hollywood, security remained high around Sunday’s festival in West Hollywood, though there were no specific or credible threats received by law enforcement, according to a news release by the Sheriff’s Department.
The parade, part of a two-day annual festival in West Hollywood where 400,000 people were expected, went on as scheduled.
Hundreds of uniformed deputies are on-duty to ensure the safety of all those participating in this event,” according to the department’s release. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have enhanced our security presence for the event and have tactical units at the ready to prevent and respond to any circumstances.”
Earlier in the day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the crowd that while the pride festival was going forward, it was a difficult time.
“We did not want to be here under these circumstances,” he said. “We’re here as Angelenos, as the LGBTQ community and allies, to say as Americans we will not shrink away, we will not be sullen in our homes, we will not go back in the closets. We are here to march, to celebrate and to mou