Police in Santa Monica, California, arrested a man early Sunday who said he was in town for the L.A. Pride festival and discovered multiple rifles, ammunition and possible explosives in his car.
The unnerving arrest comes on the same day that a shooter, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, killed 50 people and injured over 50 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Officials said the two incidents don’t appear to be related, but the situation is still developing.
Though it was initially reported by the Associated Press that the man told police he wanted to harm the California gay pride parade, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks later said that information was "inaccurate."
Inaccuracy confirmed. He said he was going to the event. Other information inaccurate. https://t.co/8ghMyUNmQL— Kenneth Semko (@Kenneth Semko)1465778982.0
More from the Los Angeles Times:
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 car had Indiana plates. The man made comments that he was in town for the Pride event in West Hollywood this weekend. The source said authorities did not know of any connection between the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning and the Santa Monica incident. The investigation has been taken over by the FBI. The source said the man appeared to be white.
An anonymous city official reportedly told the LA Times that the weapons they found in the suspect’s car “were very disconcerting.”
Officials are increasing security at the L.A. Pride Festival.