Santa Monica police have confirmed that they arrested a man after discovering assault rifles, ammunition and possible explosives in his car. He claimed he was on his way to Los Angeles Pride, which takes place today.
After receiving a call about a “prowler” at Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street on Sunday morning, authorities dispatched officers to investigate. Neighbors say the man was knocking on doors and loitering near his white Acura with Indiana plates. When they approached the still-unnamed man, he said he was waiting for a friend and was headed to the Pride festivities in West Hollywood.
The story apparently didn’t sit right with the officers, and an inspection of the man’s car led to the discovery of the weapons, in addition to tannerite, an explosive ingredient that can be used to create pipe bombs.
There is no indication that this has any connection to the tragic Orlando attack Saturday night at gay club Pulse, which took the lives of 50 people and injured 53 more.
“They found him with weapons that were very disconcerting,” a source told the L.A. Times , adding officials are “taking the appropriate safety precautions.”
After reportedly discussing the possibility of calling off the day’s events, no plans have been made to alter L.A. Pride’s schedule, though security will be ramped up.
“We are hearing absolutely devastating news reports from Orlando this morning,” said L.A. City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath.
“Gun violence on the LGBTQ family during Pride Month makes me sick. The deadliest mass shooting in America happened to LGBTQ people on Latin night. While we mourn this heartbreaking loss, we must also rededicate ourselves to the fight for full equality for all people. No one is equal unless everyone is equal.”