LAPD officers responding to a report of a mentally ill man making threats arrived at a Hollywood high-rise near Sunset Boulevard to find a terrifying arsenal of weapons, including a sniper rifle pointed at a public park outside his 18th story window, the LAPD said.
On Tuesday residents of the Lumina Hollywood apartments at 1522 Gordon Street, near Sunset Boulevard, called 911 to report a man with “possible mental illness” was making threats. The man, 24-year-old Braxton Johnson, garnered attention from the witnesses by allegedly harassing security staff at the building while reportedly unarmed. Witness statements were enough to make an arrest for making criminal threats, the LAPD said, as detectives went to work obtaining a search warrant.
Once LAPD Hollywood detectives entered the apartment, they found a stockpile of military-style weapons including two assault rifles, the sniper rifle, a shotgun, three pistols and more than 1,00 rounds of ammunition, along with several high-capacity magazines, scopes, and body armor. None of the guns were registered to Johnson, police said, and two of the weapons found in his home are illegal assault rifles.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon praised “the brave actions of witnesses” who reported Johnson’s bizarre behavior, thus thwarting a potential shooting spree. “Los Angeles is still reeling over the tragic mass shooting in Monterey Park,” Gascon said in a statement, adding that without the neighbors response “this could have also been an incredible tragedy.”
Gascon said Johnson is charged two counts of possession of an assault rifle, one count of making criminal threats, and one count of solicitation of murder.
The weapon stash found at Johnson’s apartment is similar to that discovered on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas after the massacre near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino that left 58 dead and 500 others wounded.
Gunman Stephen Paddock unleashed a rapid staccato of bullets at concert goers attending that year’s Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music extravaganza. Artist Jason Aldean was on stage when Paddock smashed his window and opened fire with an unrelenting barrage of bullets for 10 straight minutes. The 64-year-old was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police burst into his room.
The FBI never announced a motive as to why Paddock gunned down dozens of people from his 32nd floor hotel room window. The event remains the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
This is a developing story. Updates to come at lamag.com
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