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LAPD prevents possible mass shooting after arresting suspect with weapons stockpile

Police believe the suspect, who had firearms aimed at a park, was in the stages of planning an attack and praised those who reported his suspicious behavior


Photo/LAPD Twitter

By Jessica Schladebeck
New York Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police arrested a man accused of threatening mass violence and then confiscated a stockpile of firearms from his Hollywood apartment — several of which were aimed at a nearby park, police said.

Officers on Tuesday were investigating reports of “a male with mental illness” when they made the starling discovery inside an 18th-floor apartment on Gordon Street. Its lone occupant, 24-year-old Braxton Johnson, was taken into custody on suspicion of making criminal threats, and he remained jailed on $500,000 bail, authorities said Wednesday.

Police said he’d been making verbal threats toward those in the building and referencing “weapons and violence” prior to his arrest.

Investigators believe Johnson was in the stages of planning a mass attack and praised those who reported his suspicious behavior.

“There is a high chance that the officers, and obviously, security staff and the people who called, prevented a mass shooting from happening,” LAPD Lt. Leonid Tsap told KABC.

A search of Johnson’s apartment turned up seven guns — one shotgun, two assault rifles, one long rifle and three handguns — as well as two bulletproof vests and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the rifles were aimed through “large windows with a view, with a non-obstructed view of a public park, downstairs,” Tsap noted.

Johnson recently moved into the apartment from out of town. He was not present during the search, according to police, but he was arrested when he returned home a short time later.

California has faced six mass shootings in January alone, most recently in Beverly Crest. Three people were fatally shot and another four wounded outside a short-term rental home in the ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood near Beverly Hills.

Another eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Jan. 21 inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a dance hall in Monterey Park that is popular with the local Asian American community. In a separate incident days later, seven people were killed across two different sites in Oakland, including a mushroom farm where the shooter once worked.

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