Police say a heavily armed Indiana man arrested on his way to a Southern California gay pride parade told them he wanted to do harm to the event.

Santa Monica police said in a statement that the suspect arrested Sunday is 20-year-old James Wesley Howell of Indiana.

Howell was first reported as a prowler by concerned neighbors.

Members of the FBI Joint Terrorism task force stand by to provide security for the 2016 Gay Pride Parade June 12, 20116 in Los Angeles. Photo / Getty
Members of the FBI Joint Terrorism task force stand by to provide security for the 2016 Gay Pride Parade June 12, 20116 in Los Angeles. Photo / Getty

Police say that when they arrested him, they found three assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and ammunition and a five-gallon bucket with chemicals that could be used to make an explosive device.

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Santa Monica police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks tweeted that Howell told officers after he arrested that he wanted to harm the gay pride event in West Hollywood that was taking place about seven miles away later Sunday. Hundreds of thousands attend the annual event.

His arrest came as the mass shooting that killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Florida was still unfolding.