The Santa Monica Police Department have clarified and retracted yesterday’s statement regarding James Wesley Howell’s intentions at the Los Angeles Pride Parade. The LA Times is now reporting that the information that was released yesterday, that Mr. Howell had traveled to Santa Monica with the intent of doing “harm to the parade” was incorrect. Santa Monica PD Lt. Saul Rodriguez has clarified what they know:
“It was a misstatement,” Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, she was given incorrect information initially, which indicated that that statement was made; however, that statement never was made. He did indicate that he was planning on going to the Pride festival but beyond anything as far as motives or his intentions that statement was never made nor did any officer receive that statement.”
At this time law enforcement is still trying to ascertain what he was doing with several long guns, as well as tannerite and other chemicals in a five gallon bucket. Howell’s traveling companion has stated that “Howell didn’t harbor any ill will toward gays or lesbians.” And that he is bisexual.
Since I did the write up on this last night, based on what had been released by law enforcement to the news media, I wanted to make sure I did a corrective update as soon as possible. I apologize to Balloon Juice readers and to Mr. Howell for posting what we now know is incorrect information. I have also gone back and corrected the original post from last night.
I will be very curious to see what he thinks he thought he was doing by driving cross-country with an arsenal.
Regardless of whether he had ill intent for the parade- or for anyone else, for that matter- it sounds as if he’s in a load of trouble. He’s already on probation for a previous incident in which he threatened someone with a gun, and the conditions of his probation required him to give up his firearms. That and the high-capacity magazines, which are illegal in California, should be enough to keep him in prison for quite a while.
Often when I go to a shooting range, I have several long guns, tannerite (reactive targets), and chemicals (gun cleaning supplies) with me… So it could be perfectly innocuous.
I assume that his underlying problem is not thinking things through.
Adam, your Missing the Target post, 4th paragraph 3rd link (“by a white guy from”) has another reference to James Howell’s supposed intentions.
Huh. Interesting. I’m happy to sit corrected on this particular issue.
@Adam in OP:
He was picked up by the Santa Monica PD, but was headed to the LA Pride parade in West Hollywood(about 5 to 10 miles east of Santa Monica).
Cat still camped out on your lap?
I see from Cole’s tweet(and also LFG) that the SMOTI(Stupidest Man On The Internet) is now the SGMOTI(Stupidest Gay Man On The Internet).
@BillinGlendaleCA: TWO of them. Yes, both store kitties are in da house! (or, da lap).
@Miss Bianca: This is why I’m on team dog.
Bomb making material and long guns indicate that he meant to do harm somewhere. Sorry Adam, he might just be a lone wolf who wanted to make a name for himself, but he’s not innocent.
Nonetheless, a lot of folks jumped to a lot of conclusions. I remember Richard Jewel, and we all should whenever we’re tempted to judge people on little notice.
Do you drive across the country to go to a shooting range? This guy drove from Indiana to LA.
First I have heard that he was traveling with someone. From what little I have read, this guy has had multiple incidents of threatening or pointing guns at people. While the Gay Pride Parade pretty popular in SoCal, I don’t see anyone traveling over 2K miles just to attend. Given the circumstances and this guys background, we (literally) dodged a bullet. One other thing, good work by the Santa Monica PD, who smelled a rat, and decided to search his vehicle.
Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class
Cannot speak of Howell, as a guy in my office has been representing him on local charges here in the vicinity of the Peoples’ Democratic Socialist Kenyan Shariah Republic of Louisville…
How the fuck do they screw the pooch this badly? It’s not like a minor detail was inaccurate; it went from “he confessed to wanting to blows up gheys” to “uh, nevermind everything”. Thats some real shitshow gumshoe work.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: That is a comment that I can understand.
@Amaranthine RBG: Maybe.Maybe not. Plenty of gun ranges in metro LA, don’t think there are any in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or at Gay Pride Parade.
Maybe this guy was just lucky enough to get nabbed before it was too late. Or maybe he was telling the truth. I guess will become clearer if the investigation and court proceedings are public someday.
More than enough probable cause to hold him and investigate, though.
More to the point, he drove over 1,500 miles from Indiana to LA with guns and explosive materials in his car. I’m pretty sure there would be a gun range a little closer to home.
Adam, good on you.
Have to wonder if he’ll become a poster boy in the Ammosexuals’ case against tyrannical government. Innocent guy just taking his legal guns out for a drive collared by the jack booted thugs.
Tell me that couldn’t be going through some minds.
Perhaps he was planning on boating down the Grand Canyon, again, now that he has that new robotic arm. Just made a wrong turn somewhere west of Rawlins.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah, I don’t think Adam should beat himself up too hard over this one.
Adam L Silverman
@Amaranthine RBG: do you drive over two thousand miles to get to the range? And do you bring guns into a state where they are restricted on your way to said range a two to three day drive from your home?
That arsenal wasn’t for the church picnic.
Come on, now.
Someone’s alive because they stopped him.
Don’t you hate it when the facts mess up a perfectly good narrative?
Unknown known (formerly known as Ecks, former formerly completely unknown)
It’s the friggin worst. There should be a law.
And I know who will pass it for us too. Vote Deadbeat Don: reality had it coming!
Two problems with that narrative:
1) He is on probation, the terms of which required him to give up his guns.
2) His high capacity magazines most certainly are not legal here in California.
So he’s a probationer taking his totally not legal guns that he specifically is not supposed to have out for a spin.
@Adam L Silverman: Your post reminds me of this all-too-related classic.
@Adam L Silverman:
Maybe he and his guns were just a bit side-tracked on his quest to get to the grave of Charlton Heston. Respects must be paid. In full.
Adam L Silverman
@Aleta: Thanks. Just got home and fixed it too!
Adam L Silverman
@JPL: I don’t necessarily disagree. And that’s what the cops now have to try to figure out.
Adam L Silverman
@msdc: I’m not beating myself up, but I believe in marking my beliefs to market. I made an error, I’d argue it was an honest one, but I wanted to make sure I corrected it as soon as I could.
Adam L Silverman
@BillinGlendaleCA: Fixed. Just got home.
I’m sorry, what are they actually correcting? That he was heavily armed, but *not* heading to the pride parade? Or that he was heading to the pride parade, but that his weapons/explosives arsenal was somehow unrelated to his travel plans.
And how is this not still confusing/disturbing?
Adam L Silverman
@jonas: They were clarifying that he didn’t state he was in the area from Indiana in order to “harm the parade”. Now they’re trying to figure out why he was in California with several weapons, tannerite, and other chemicals in a five galloon bucket in his car.
@Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: Good God! Whoa. I wish you could tell us more about what you can’t tell us. Or something.
@Amaranthine RBG: Huh. How often are you travelling cross-country to go to a gun range?
ETA: I should really try reading downthread sometime, rather than upthread…I see someone asked this question before I did.
Susan D. Einbinder, MS, PhD
Since I live 1.5 blocks from where he was picked up, I’m kind of curious what he was doing parked on Olympic and 11th Street. That’s the site of the Salvation Army’s Thrift Shop and treatment center, and the blocks around it are commercial buildings that double as beds for the many, many homeless people who live here. Coincidentally, I happened to be at the intersection of Cloverfield and Pico 3 years ago when a guy got out of the passenger side of his car with a big f**king gun and starting indiscriminately shooting, causing people to run screaming and major hysteria … it was surreal, and I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing for a few seconds before I ducked behind the steering wheel of my car. It was the day – June 6th, I think – that President Obama was in Santa Monica and I took an alternate route to the dentist. This was the guy who shot and killed his father and brother and set the house on fire, kidnapped a car, made the woman drive it through that intersection to Santa Monica College, where he shot an older man in a truck and his daughter – who was a student at California State U. Dominguez Hills, where I’m on faculty – and then he was killed by the police. The entire rampage took 10 minutes and I drive through that intersection as often as I can to remember the victims … Last week, an innocent wife and a UCLA professor were killed. This is just nuts …
@Roger Moore: Sadly, if he is immersed in “gunner” culture as it has evolved over the last 8 years, he probably thinks no more of going out with an arsenal in his car then he does going out dressed. It is just what one does since who knows when a gang of Sharia spouting ISIL terrorists will descend on you. As far as a bisexual or gay man not targeting gays, it appears that Meketen puts the lie to that hypothesis.