After coming home and seeing a white Acura parked the wrong way outside her apartment on 11th Street in Santa Monica, Kelsey Mitchell was woken up by a knock at 4:40 a.m., sending her running to safety instead of to open the door.
"Better be safe than sorry. Just don't answer, don't even look out the window and I just went straight upstairs," she said.
A neighbor, who does not want to be identified, says she heard the knocking around the same time.
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"Somebody was really banging hard on my window through the alley."
She grabbed her phone, called Santa Monica police and described the suspect to police dispatch.
"She said, ‘Are you sure that's the guy?’ And I said, ‘I'm positive that's the guy who's been banging for the last ten minutes on my door.’"
She watched as police showed up around 5 a.m. and discovered a cache of guns, ammunition and explosive material in the white Acura, that James Wesley Howell, 20, of Indiana, parked outside her Santa Monica home.
He told police he planned to go to the Pride Parade in West Hollywood Sunday.
"I was crying when I saw his rifle. I was like, ‘Oh my God, he's here to kill me,’" she said.
"And I was watching Orlando and I was devastated already and I was like ‘Why me now? What did I do for this guy to come to my house?’"
"I got lucky today, I am lucky I'm alive today."