Potential mass shooting averted in Los Angeles; man arrested, ‘high-powered’ weapons seized

Los Angeles police officers seized several high-powered weapons from a man accused of making criminal threats Tuesday, averting what authorities believe could have been a mass shooting in the planning stages.

Police say Braxton Johnson, 25, was arrested in Hollywood after officers responding to a report of a possible man with mental illness acted erratically.

Johnson was arrested on a complaint of making criminal threats, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

A search warrant was then served at the Lumina Hollywood, 1522 Gordon St., where officers recovered several high-powered rifles, shotguns, handguns and a “large cache of various munitions.”

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A man was arrested and a large cache of weapons were recovered in Hollywood on Jan. 31, 2023. (Los Angeles Police Department)

“The suspect was located on the 18th floor of an apartment building with large windows with a view, with a non-obstructed view of a public park, downstairs, and some of the rifles were pointed outside of the windows,” LAPD Lt. Leon Tsap said.

Photos shared by the Police Department showed several weapons, including a rifle with a scope and a set of camouflage body armor.

Johnson recently moved into the apartment from out of town, according to police.

Authorities also said Johnson had been threatening people outside the location and credited neighbors vigilantes for speaking up about the 25-year-old, preventing what they believed could have been a mass attack.

Johnson was charged Thursday 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,” LA County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “Were it not for the brave actions of the witnesses in this case, this could also have been an incredible tragedy. I want to also thank the LAPD for quickly apprehending this person and potentially saving countless lives.”

On Thursday, officials with the LAPD also released a statement regarding the investigation.

“At this point of the investigation, there are no indications that any person was 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.”

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