What We Know About the Heavily Armed Man Arrested Right Before LA Pride

Police in Santa Monica, California, believe they prevented what could have been another deadly attack on the LGBT community on Sunday after they arrested a heavily armed man they say was bound for Los Angeles' Pride festival.

Hours before the arrest, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people and injuring 53 others. Officials do not believe the incidents are related, The Washington Post reports.

Here's what we know about the suspect arrested in Santa Monica.

  • Santa Monica police received a call on Sunday about a suspected prowler "who was knocking on a resident’s doors and window," BuzzFeed News reports.
  • Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks identified the suspect as James Howell, a 20-year-old from Indiana.
  • After searching Howell's car, officers recovered "three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition" in addition to "a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device," according to a press release.
  • Howell told officers that he was on his way to the Pride festival in West Hollywood, but officials say that investigation into the suspect's motive is "ongoing," KTLA reports.
  • Howell is currently being held on $500,000 bail at a Los Angeles jail, KTLA reports.

RELATED: There Was Another Major Threat at Pride Today