The annual LA PRIDE parade kicked off on Sunday as scheduled, featuring colorful displays of solidarity—and sorrow—after the deadliest mass shooting in US history targeted a gay club in Orlando overnight, killing 50.
“All of our hearts today are with Orlando. We are Pulse, we are Orlando, we are Americans, we are all LGBTQ community members today,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We are all part of a country that will not be beaten down. We will not go away, and today we are proud of who are.”
But suspicious activities closer to home also threatened to overshadow the event: Santa Monica authorities discovered a car full of possible explosives, assault rifles and ammunition. The owner was a man who told police he was in town for the pride festivities in West Hollywood.
Among the weapons in the car was tannerite, an ingredient that can be used to create a pipe bomb, according to a law enforcement source quoted by the Los Angeles Times. The Times also reported that there was no known connection between the shooting in Orlando and the car, which had Indiana plates. The FBI has taken over the investigation.
“I want everybody here to know that we are safe, we are protected, our law enforcement officials are here,” Garcetti said.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti at pride parade: “This march goes on. We go on. We continue to love.” https://t.co/J54RiATgwT https://t.co/yXo0SSmQUs
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 12, 2016
Los Angeles’ LGBT community came out in full swing to show their pride. After a moment of silence for the victims in Orlando, the parade went on:
We march on, in loving memories of those who cannot@BuzzFeedVideo @BuzzFeed #LAPRIDE #PrayForOrlando pic.twitter.com/XnTTBJWYKS
— Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) June 12, 2016
Now that we’ve finished our moment of silence, it’s time to be loud. #pride2016 #LAPRIDE pic.twitter.com/YRAjqdtirG
— RJ Aguiar (@rj4gui4r) June 12, 2016
Security is beefed up at #LAPRIDE, but we’re out here to pay our respects and support! https://t.co/eA4o3OtW4l pic.twitter.com/dGTLqkP0NH
— 102.7 KIIS-FM (@1027KIISFM) June 12, 2016
Hundreds of thousands of Angelenos celebrating #LGBTQ #Pride and standing with #Orlando. pic.twitter.com/dDIsfSZ810
— Mayor of Los Angeles (@MayorOfLA) June 12, 2016
Chance, 3, just waved to a fire truck. His dads were concerned about safety, but they’re here in solidarity pic.twitter.com/D6cpTnpjmv
— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) June 12, 2016
LA sisters and brothers We are proud! Stay loud and loving. #LAPRIDE #loveislove #Orlando pic.twitter.com/HmB4libjjr
— Brooke Karzen (@brookekarzen) June 12, 2016
Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn contributed to this report.