Man aimed loaded rifles from his Hollywood high-rise, D.A. says
A man with a weapons cache and a sniper-like facility in his Hollywood high-rise apartment is now being charged with dist. atty said George Gascón on Thursday.
Braxton Kyle Johnson was charged with one count of criminal threats, two counts of possession of illegal assault weapons and one count of solicitation of murder, the prosecutor said.
Concerned about their new neighbor, some residents of the 22-story luxury apartment complex called the police, leading to his arrest. Johnson has boasted an arsenal of weapons and said the CIA is watching him, police said.
Rifles belonging to Johnson were loaded with ammunition and pointed at the windows of his newly rented 18th-floor Hollywood condo, which had panoramic views of a busy street and public park. A scoped rifle was mounted on a small tripod, similar to those used by hunters—or military snipers.
Local residents called police to say Johnson had made bizarre threats against them and security personnel at Lumina Hollywood, the apartment complex on the 1500 block of Gordon Street near Sunset Boulevard.
In one of those conversations, the district attorney said Johnson, 25, asked a woman if she had anyone who needed to be killed.
“Los Angeles County is still reeling from the tragic mass shooting in Monterey Park,” Gascón said. “Without the courageous action of the witnesses in this case, this too could have been an unbelievable tragedy. I also want to thank the LAPD for quickly apprehending this individual and potentially saving countless lives.”
A neighbor who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity on Thursday said she encountered Johnson at a nearby dog park on Monday. She said he spoke to her in a strange accent and said he was “conducting an investigation” and asked where the different floors of the 22-story skyscraper were, including the 18th floor.
“He was wearing a peacoat with his hair slicked back,” she said, adding that after speaking to her and using a different accent, he approached another dog owner.
She said she wondered if he was an actor. But the next day, she came home to find police officers in tactical gear searching the Lumina building. She was told they were waiting for a suspect to return home.
Los Angeles police say reports from tenants of the building may have “prevented a mass shooting.”
“The suspect was on the 18th floor of an apartment building with large windows with an unobstructed view of a public park on the ground floor and some of the guns were pointed out the windows,” LAPD Lt. Leon said tsap.
Tsap said Johnson was in possession of weapons “with the ability to cause great harm to many people.”
Johnson, 25, was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of making criminal threats against neighbors and staff at the Lumina Hollywood.
A resident told officers the man had spoken out about possession of numerous weapons and noted that his apartment was on the 18th floor.
Based on this information, Hollywood Division detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson and a search warrant for his home. There they found seven weapons — a shotgun, two assault rifles, a long rifle and three handguns — as well as two bulletproof vests and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
A photo shared by the LAPD showed a table with guns and ammunition, including several long guns, handguns with magazines, and camouflage-patterned body armor. According to Tsap, some of the guns — including the rifles — were loaded and had extended magazines, which is usually illegal in California.
So far, investigators have been unable to find any indication of a planned attack.
According to police records, Johnson is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Prosecutors said he was previously arrested for illegal gun possession in New Jersey.
According to a 2016 Indiana voter registration, Johnson was serving in the US military at the time. The document does not specify which branch.
The Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to determine what charges may be brought.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-02-02/man-aimed-loaded-rifles-from-hollywood-high-rise Man aimed loaded rifles from his Hollywood high-rise, D.A. says