A heavily armed man has been arrested by police in Santa Monica as he was heading to the annual Los Angeles gay pride festival.
Police found a cache of weapons and ammunition including assault rifles and explosives in the man’s car after responding to a prowler call.
The man from out of town told police that he was en-route to the L.A. Pride Parade festival in West Hollywood.
Santa Monica police were responding to a call about a prowler early Sunday morning when they encountered the man, who has not been identified, in or near a white Acura sedan with Indiana plates. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed assault rifles, ammunition, and tannerite, an explosive used in target practice and sometimes pipe bombs, the LA Times reports. A source tells the paper he appeared to be caucasian.
The man reportedly told police he was waiting for a friend and in town for the gay pride festival. A city official tells the LA Times security has since been increased around the event.
One source in West Hollywood said there was discussion of calling off the parade but that officials decided to go forward, with heavy security including undercover officers in the crowd.
According to Pro Publica reporter Robert Faturechi, a text about the arrest went out to law enforcement officials around 11:19 a.m.
Source: this just went out to top LA law enforcement officials. Suspect w/ assault weapons, camo arrested in WeHo. pic.twitter.com/9pfBt72spK
— Robert Faturechi (@RobertFaturechi) June 12, 2016
The arrest comes just hours after a gunman, reportedly 29-year-old Omar Mateen, opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 50 and injuring dozens more. The alleged gunman’s father tells reporters his son was recently disgusted by the sight of gay men kissing.
The FBI has reportedly taken over the investigation in Santa Monica.