James Wesley Howell of Indiana was on his way to the L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood when police found him to be in possession of three assault rifles and explosive-making materials. According to Los Angeles Times, authorities are still trying to determine what James Wesley Howells’ intentions were. However, they do not believe his actions had any connection to the mass shooting in Orlando.
James Wesley Howell is known as a soft-spoken young man who frequently walks his black Labrador named Midnight through the suburbs his parents call home. The Indianapolis Star reports a very different story regarding who James Wesley Howell is, being told by friends and an ex-boyfriend who live in a small city called Charlestown, roughly 30 minutes away from where his parents live. The friends and ex-boyfriend described Howell as a very troubled and somewhat violent individual who had a scary relationship with big guns and fast cars.
— Kristine Guerra (@kristine_guerra) June 14, 2016
James Wesley Howell is currently sitting in jail with a $500,000 bond while authorities and the FBI investigate his case.
Joseph Greeson told authorities he had not spoken to James Wesley Howell since the first of June. Both were car enthusiasts and they met through a mutual friend in November of last year. Greeson even told authorities that he had done some small work on the vehicle James was driving when he was stopped by police and taken into custody.
“I never really got, like, any bad signals. Just that it was strange and kind of weird. He was an only child and just kind of lonerish. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.”
According to Greeson, James Wesley Howell left town last week and his parents had spent some time looking for him. The Indianapolis Star also reported that Howell already faced legal issues in Indiana and Greeson did not believe Howell would drive all the way to California just to hurt people.
“He might have got scared because he got in trouble here and stuff. He might have just been heading out and then had the guns with him for whatever reason and just, you know, wrong place and wrong time.”
Los Angeles Times reports that according to Indiana’s court records, Howell was charged back in October of 2015 with intimidation and had a felony for pointing a firearm at another person. On April of this year he pled guilty to misdemeanor intimidation and the charge of pointing a firearm was dropped by the prosecutors. The court records show that he was sentenced to do a year in state prison and then he would be placed on probation. As part of the deal, he had to give up all of his weapons until his probation was over.
— FOX40 News (@FOX40) June 12, 2016
James Wesley Howell allegedly pointed a gun at his neighbors back in October when the incident occurred. Witnesses also claimed Howell pointed a gun at his boyfriend earlier as well.
“James is going to get someone hurt. He needs to stop pointing guns at people.”
Greeson wanted it to be clear that James Wesley Howell does not have any ill will or hatred towards the LGBT community. In fact, James is bisexual himself. For this reason, he did not believe there was any way James was headed to that parade to hurt people. He thinks it is possible James was just transporting some of his collection and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
— Jennifer Thang (@jenniferthang) June 12, 2016
Do you think James Wesley Howell was really just transporting his personal collection or do you think this man from Indiana had the intention of using the explosive materials and assault rifles to hurt people at the Pride parade?
[Image via Santa Monica Police Department]