Family of James Howell says they are cooperating with the FBI

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The father of James Wesley Howell, the 20-year-old Indiana man arrested with a cache of weapons and allegedly headed to a gay pride event, says the family is “shocked” and cooperating with the FBI, according to an attorney for Howell.

“The father is beside himself,” said Louisville attorney Bobby Boyd, who along with attorney Ryan Vantrease, represents Howell in a local fleeing from police felony case. “He’s happy that his son is safe and has not been hurt, but obviously shocked by the events. He is doing everything he can to cooperate, trying to work through it and process it.”

Boyd, who asked that the father not be identified, said the FBI has contacted Howell’s family and they are working to find an attorney in Southern California, where Howell was arrested.

Boyd said the family is "fully cooperating" with the FBI. 

Howell was armed with assault rifles and explosive chemicals. It was originally reported that Howell told police he wanted to harm a gay pride event in West Hollywood about seven miles from where he was arrested Sunday, according to a tweet from Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.

Later Seabrooks tweeted that the information was inaccurate. "He said he was going to the event. Other information inaccurate," Seabrooks said in a Tweet Sunday evening. 

Boyd said he doesn’t know of Howell having any mental disabilities.

Howell has criminal cases in both Indiana and Kentucky.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Howell was arrested in Clark County in October 2015 on a felony charge of pointing a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of intimidation. He pleaded guilty in April to the intimidation charge and felony firearm charge was dismissed, the newspaper reported. Howell was sentenced to serve a year of probation and was to "forfeit all weapons" for the entirety of his probation period, according to the Star.

Just days later, Howell was charged on April 21 with fleeing and evading police, speeding and reckless driving in Louisville. He pleaded not guilty.

Howell was pulled over allegedly driving 103 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone on Interstate 71 North. When a Louisville Metro Police officer went to open the passenger side door, Howell drove off, injuring the officer, according to court records. 

Howell went to Ballard High School. 

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