Update, 5:55 p.m: The Santa Monica Police Department has released an image of the arrest report for the suspect, named in the document as James Wesley Howell. Confirming earlier reporting, the report says that Howell had “three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition,” as well as a 5-gallon bucket of explosive materials.
Original post: The Los Angeles Times reports that authorities in Santa Monica, California, detained a man on Sunday after discovering “possible explosives as well as weapons and ammunition” in his vehicle. Though details on the story are still scarce, the man claimed that he was in the area for the weekend’s Gay Pride celebrations. The Times writes:
Early Sunday, Santa Monica police received a call of a suspected prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street. Patrol officers responded and encountered an individual who told officers he was waiting for a friend. That led officers to inspect the car and find several weapons and a lot of ammunition as well as tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create a pipe bomb.
The Times reports that the man had multiple assault rifles, which is all the more frightening given that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was able to carry out the largest mass shooting in United States history with a single AR-15 assault rifle. The Times’ source says the detained man’s car had Indiana plates and that there is not believed to be any connection between the Sunday morning Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida and this incident. The FBI has assumed control of the Santa Monica investigation.
Los Angeles’ official Pride Parade is now underway. Memorials have already cropped up in the city for victims of the Pulse shooting.