Potential gun violence averted at annual L.A. Pride Parade

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From its inception in 1970, the L.A. Pride Music Festival and Parade celebrates and advocates for LGBTQ rights for three days in West Hollywood.
From 1970, the L.A. Pride Music Festival and Parade celebrates and advocates for LGBTQ rights in West Hollywood.

On the same day of the atrocious Orlando terror attack, officers arrested a man armed with an assortment of weapons at 5:00 a.m. in Santa Monica.

Suspect 20-year-old James Wesley Howell was planning to attend the L.A. Pride Parade later that day with a friend, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

At the time of his arrest, the Indiana-born suspect’s vehicle was found laden with three assault rifles, ammunition, and large amounts of chemicals that could be used to create a bomb-like device.

Officers found Howell in his car after Santa Monica residents called the police about a suspected prowler interrupting the neighborhood.

In light of the events in Orlando and Howell’s arrest, authorities considered cancelling the L.A. Pride Festival but decided to continue the event with additional security measures.

Howell’s motives for targeting the L.A. Pride Festival are unknown. A conclusive connection to the Orlando shooting has yet to be found.

 

Originally reported by Gyeongmin Lee

Original article manuscript can be found here

Translated/Adapted by Hankyul Sharon Lee