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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Associated Press A woman stands next to Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies and police as they gather prior to the Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood, California yesterday.
# weapons cache
Heavily-armed man arrested on way to Gay Pride in Los Angeles
The discovery came hours after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, in Orlando.

POLICE IN CALIFORNIA found weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material in a car belonging to a man who told them he was planning to attend Gay Pride festivities yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The discovery came hours after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, which took place at a gay nightclub on the other side of the country in Orlando, Florida.

Fifty people were killed and 53 wounded after a gunman identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a US citizen of Afghan descent, opened fire in a shooting that US President Barack Obama was calling a terror attack and hate crime.

The LA Times cited a law enforcement source as saying police discovered the weapons cache after responding to a complaint about a prowler in the beachside city of Santa Monica, west of downtown Los Angeles.

The man, who was arrested, told police he was waiting for a friend.

Santa Monica Police spokesman Saul Rodriguez told the newspaper that man was from Indiana but that authorities “were not aware of what the suspect’s intentions were at this point.”

The FBI was investigating possible links between the man and the Gay Pride event, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Sheriff’s officials noted that there were no “specific or credible” threats against the greater Los Angeles area, but had stepped-up security at the Gay Pride event.


Some 400,000 people had been expected to attend a Gay Pride parade yesterday before the Orlando shooting took place.

It went ahead, but with a slightly sombre mood.

Attorney Perry Handy, 48, was watching the parade with friends but said he had thought twice about coming out after hearing about the car full of weapons and ammunition.

“We’re all still in shock. I’ve been coming to the parade for 20 some years and last night’s event was clearly a step backward in our culture,” he told AFP.

Alice Stanford, 46, who was marching in the parade with a union representing hotel employees, said participants were “heavy-hearted” but would not be kept away.

“Our lives go on and we are not going to be stopped by fear and violence. We celebrate who we are in spite of events like this,” she said, wearing a T-shirt that read “Love has no borders”.

- © AFP, 2016

Read: Orlando shooter was investigated by the FBI twice – but still bought guns legally last week >

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