A suspect with an “arsenal” of guns and explosives in his car was arrested on his way to the LA Gay Pride Parade
The suspect reportedly had explosive powder, assault weapons and a camouflage outfit in his car, and told officials that the gay festival was his destination.
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister said the festival would go on as planned, including a march and a moment of silence. “Public safety is our No. 1 priority and the city of West Hollywood is on high alert,” Meister said.
Los Angeles L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the Santa Monica Police Department received a tip last night from a “neighborhood person” about a suspected prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street.
The suspect’s car has Indiana license plates and the white explosive ingredient found in the car along with guns and ammo was believed to be Tannerite. The substance is used to make exploding targets whose key ingredient is ammonium nitrate. Gun enthusiasts buy it for target practice because it explodes when you shoot it, letting you know you’ve made the shot.
Ammonium nitrate is the same substance used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others in 1995 and in IEDs (improvised explosive devices) used against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The FBI issued an intelligence bulletin warning in 2013 that exploding targets have “potential use as explosives in IEDs by criminals and extremists.” But Tannerite can still be legally purchased at many sporting goods stores.
Garcetti could offer few details about the arrest, but he said that the suspect was completely unrelated to the Orlando terrorist.
He told reporters, standing among a meeting of L.A. Gay Pride organizers, “We all wanted to be here this morning but we did not want to be here under these circumstances.”
“As Americans we will not shrink away, we will not be stuck in our homes, we will not go back into closets,” Garcetti said, adding that America was targeted “because this is a society where we love openly.”
Garcetti added, “We are safe, we are protected, our law enforcement officials are here.” His promised, “This march goes on… we continue to love in the face of hate.”