In the wake of the Orlando attacks, civic awareness and beefed up security helped prevent another LGBTQ targeted attack.
On Sunday, Orlando, Florida was rocked by a mass shooting, the deadliest in American history, in which 50 people were killed and 53 injured. This led to police immediately increasing security at the L.A. Gay Pride festival occurring on the same day. With a huge number of the LGBT community, their supporters and celebrities present, it is a prime location for such an attack but fortunately disaster was averted.
Thanks to a tip from a woman 20 year old James Howell of Indiana was arrested by the Santa Monica Police after she reported seeing a car containing explosives. When police stopped his Acura, they found a huge cache of weapons and explosives comprising three rifles, including one assault rifle, a stash of ammo, and a five-gallon bucket of materials used to create explosives. In addition, Howell was also in possession of a camouflage suit and a security badge.
After questioning, the suspect admitted to wanting to “harm the Gay Pride event.” Citizens reportedly informed the police after spotting Howell knocking on doors and “loitering in the area.” The FBI is now assisting the local police department in the case which is said to have no connection with the tragic Orlando shooting.