Hollywood man found with high-powered arsenal facing several charges, including solicitation of murder
Officials with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday announced charges against the 25-year-old man found with high-powered rifles, shotguns, handguns and a “large cache of various munitions” in his high-rise Hollywood apartment.
Police say Braxton Kyle Johnson, who is from Indiana and recently moved to Hollywood, is being held on multiple charges, including possession of an assault weapon, criminal threats and one count of solicitation of murder.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department, on Wednesday, initially responded to a report of a man with a possible mental illness acting erratically. The 25-year-old was later arrested on a complaint of making criminal threats.
A search of his apartment at the Lumina Hollywood, 1522 Gordon St., revealed an arsenal of weapons, body armor and loaded rifles pointed out the windows of his 18th floor apartment building along Sunset Boulevard.
Investigators said that one of the scoped rifles was mounted on a stand similar to ones used by hunters or military snipers, adding that the firearms had “the ability to inflict a lot of damage to a lot of people.”
Neighbors described Johnson as an odd young man, who said bizarre things to them and threatened them with physical harm.
The L.A. County DA’s Office said he asked one woman if she had anyone “who needed killing.”
Denis Tone, a neighbor of Johnson’s, said the 25-year-old talked about his weapons and that the high-rise apartment gave him “good sight lines.”
“I took it to mean rifles, a rifle shot, but I thought he was just BS’ing,” he told KTLA. “In retrospect, I’m kind of taken aback.”
Tone also shot footage of officers in tactical gear preparing to go up to Johnson’s apartment.
A search of Johnson online shows that he served in the U.S. Army. There are also photos posted to social media of the clean-cut young man often smiling, well dressed, and others where he’s holding a rifle.
Authorities credit the action taken by his neighbors and security staff at the Lumina Apartments for likely averting a possible mass shooting, though police say they have yet to find evidence that Johnson was planning such an attack.
On Thursday, officials with LAPD released a statement regarding the investigation that read in part:
“At this point of the investigation, there are no indications that any persons were threatened with a firearm, nor have we identified any intent by Johnson to plan a mass shooting incident. We are working with our Federal partners to exhaust all investigative leads and believe there is no threat to the public. We are also in communication with Johnson’s family to provide any support services needed.”
The DA’s office also released a statement, charging Johnson with two counts of possession of an assault weapon, one count of criminal threats and one count of solicitation of murder.
“Los Angeles County is still reeling over the tragic mass shooting in Monterey Park,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Were it not for the brave actions of the witnesses in this case, this could have also been an incredible tragedy. I want to also thank the LAPD for quickly apprehending this person and potentially saving countless lives.”
Johnson appeared in court today. His bail was set at $500,000.
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