LOS ANGELES, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Santa Monica police said on Monday that a man with a gun and explosives in his car had plans to harm the gay pride parade in West Hollywood.
The man identified as James Howell of Indiana was arrested on 11th Street south of Olympic Boulevard on Sunday morning, hours before the parade.
The 20-year-old told police that he wants to "harm gay pride event."
The suspect's white Acura sedan had Indiana license plates. The location where the car was found and Howell was arrested is about seven miles from the site of the parade.
The suspect's car "was full of weapons, long rifles, ammunition and explosive materials -- not explosives but the powder for explosives," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Police officers meticulously searched the suspect's car throughout the day, setting some items on the sidewalk next to the vehicle, including a gas tank, a backpack, what appeared to be ammunition magazines, a camouflage outfit and other rifle accessories. The front of the car was smeared with insect debris, indicating it had been driven a great distance cross-country.
The 46th annual Los Angeles Pride Parade, one of the biggest public festivals celebrating gay, lesbian and other alternate lifestyles, was to continue along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood Sunday.
Normally, about 400,000 people will party at the celebration for freedom in diversified sexual orientation. The parade has been held every year since 1970 in Hollywood and was moved to West Hollywood in 1979.
"Any possible nexus with this individual and the Pride event in West Hollywood is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation," said the sheriff's department.
"In light of the unfortunate shooting incident in Orlando, Florida, the Sheriff's Department is fully prepared to respond to a similar situation," said Sheriff Lieutenant Edward Ramirez.
He said the security has been beefed up to ensure the safety at the Pride Weekend. "We, as a department, are in heightened awareness, and our Criminal Intelligence Bureau has been activated today to gather and disseminate information, as they receive it."