Los Angeles, June 13 (IANS) Santa Monica police arrested a man armed with a gun and seized a car with explosives here on Sunday morning hours before a gay pride parade in West Hollywood.
FBI agents confirmed the arrest hours after the gay club mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The man told police that he was in town for the pride parade, Xinhua quoted Los Angeles Times as saying.
The 46th annual Los Angeles Pride Parade, one of the biggest public festivals celebrating gay, lesbian and other alternate lifestyles, was to continue along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood on Sunday.
Normally, about 400,000 people will party at the celebration for freedom in diversified sexual orientation. The parade has been held every year since 1970 in Hollywood and was moved to West Hollywood in 1979.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told media that they were assisting the Santa Monica Police Department with the arrest of an individual, but would not supply any details.
Some unnamed police officials noted that there were explosives in the car.
“Any possible nexus with this individual and the Pride event in West Hollywood is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said the sheriff’s department.
“In light of the unfortunate shooting incident in Orlando, Florida, the Sheriff’s Department is fully prepared to respond to a similar situation,” said Sheriff Lieutenant Edward Ramirez.
He said the security forces have been increased to ensure people are safe at the Pride Weekend.
“We, as a department, are in heightened awareness, and our Criminal Intelligence Bureau has been activated today to gather and disseminate information, as they receive it.”