LA gay pride parade attendees undeterred after Orlando massacre

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LGBT pride month, pride events in wake of Orlando shooting
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LA gay pride parade attendees undeterred after Orlando massacre
Mourners gather under a LGBT pride flag flying at half-mast for a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies are seen behind a girl riding in a bus at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man carries a sign supporting both the Orlando shooting victims and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Chris Hemming (L) and Tristan Davison join in a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub during a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People take part in the March of Equality, organized by LGBT and human rights activists in Kiev, Ukraine, June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: Women hold onto each other during a brief moment of silence to kick off the annual DC Pride Festival on Pennsylvania Ave. June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: James Sharif, 24, of Alexandria, VA, said about the Orlando shooting, 'I think its a shame that people are doing this to wonderful people Hopefully people will begin to love wholly and all this hate will stop' at the DC Pride Festival June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - 2016/06/12: Participants take part at the Gay Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine. Representatives of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) organizations and their supporters took part in the peaceful 'Equality March'.The purpose of the parade is to overcome discrimination and achieve equality for all social groups and minorities in Ukraine. (Photo by Vasyl Shevchenko/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A large LGBT pride flag flies at half-mast during a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Kristen Jaeger holds a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Brandon Joyce carries a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A woman looks out her window with the Gay pride flag hanging during a vigil for the Orlando massacre victims in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Ciaran Lithgow of Washington, DC holds a sign of condolence for victims of the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early this morning in Washington June 12, 2016. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A parade marcher holds a sign in memory of the victims of the attack on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man waves a rainbow flag in front of two Boston Police vehicles outside a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016 the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Boston Police Officer stands behind flowers left at a Pride Month block party, the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Thousands of people lined the streets for the annual gay pride parade in West Hollywood, Calif. on Sunday, just hours after 50 people were murdered in a mass shooting at a Orlando gay nightclub.

"When I first woke up, I was actually a little scared," Kimberly Arellano, a cosmetologist from Los Angeles told TheWrap. "But then I thought, what better way then to honor [the victims in Orlando] than by being here?"

"It was pretty shocking," her fiancée Tina Tharp, chimed in. "All this is happening too much. We have to unite and become strong," she said.

The couple turned out despite reports that a heavily armed man from Indiana was arrested Sunday morning on his way to the West Hollywood Pride parade. The suspect — James Howell — told police that he wanted to harm people at the event. Police say he was armed with guns, ammunition and explosives.

But even that didn't seem to scare Tharp, who said she felt safe despite the news reports.

"I'm a marine corps vet," she told TheWrap. "I have all the belief that our police forces will do will do everything they can to protect us."

The LA Gay Pride Parade Continues Following The Arrest Of An Armed Man

The Orlando massacre marked the worst terrorist attack on American soil since the Sept. 11th attacks. The lone assailant, a 29-year-old American-born man named Omar Mateen, called 911 while carrying out the massacre, pledging his allegiance to ISIS, officials said.

Bouncers guarding gay bars on Santa Monica Boulevard where the parade is being held said they are extra vigilant today following the news reporters.

"We're always evaluating everybody as they they come to the line," 28-year-old Charles Carpenter, who works the door at Revolver, a popular gay bar, told TheWrap. "We just do the best we can so everyone can have a good time."

"It's a scary situation we're living in today," Freddie Cheatham, another bouncer, told TheWrap. "What happened to love?"

The Los Angeles Country Fire Department was already gearing up for the more than 400,000 people expected to attend on Sunday, setting up three cameras equipped with infra-red capability mounted on large poles. The cameras, which can cost up to $200,000 each, can monitor areas a city block away, giving authorities a bird's eye view of the parade.

One police officer guarding the area told TheWrap he was trying to keep an extra close eye on things without being too obvious, as to not scare parade-goers too much.

"We are a little more vigilant," officer Bond Morrow told TheWrap. "We're watching out for everybody here."

Read original story LA Gay Pride Parade Attendees Undeterred After Orlando Massacre At TheWrap

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