A disturbed ex-military man was busted in a Hollywood high-rise with a terrifying arsenal of loaded weapons aimed at a public park — which California authorities fear may have been ready for yet another mass shooting.
Braxton Johnson, 25, was first confronted by cops for a mental health check after neighbors at a luxury 22-story building off Sunset Blvd. accused him of threatening to harm them after he recently moved in, the LAPD said.
Neighbors at the Lumina told the Los Angeles Times that Johnson used bizarre accents while claiming the CIA was after him — and asked one woman if she needed anyone killing.
He also bragged about having a huge cache of weapons — and that his 18th-floor apartment gave “good sight lines,” others told KTLA.
Alarmed, cops obtained a search warrant Tuesday — and “found several high-powered assault weapons” along with “ammo, a shotgun, loaded pistols, ballistic vests and a scope,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said.
“Some of those weapons were allegedly loaded and staged at an [angle] near a glass window facing a public area,” the DA said, with the apartment views including a public park.
At least one rifle was set up with a scope as if ready for a military sniper would use, according to the LA Times, which cited records as showing Johnson previously served in the US military. Photos show him grinning proudly in an Army uniform.
Although investigators do not know Johnson’s plans for the weapons, cops told the LA Times that the arrest may have “prevented a mass shooting from happening.”
LAPD Lt. Leon Tsap said some of the rifles were loaded with extended magazines and had “the ability to inflict a lot of damage to a lot of people.”
DA George Gascón shared a similar message Thursday as he announced Johnson had been charged with two counts of possession of a illegal assault weapons, 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,” the prosecutor said of last month’s bloodbath at a ballroom dancing studio that left 11 dead.
“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,” he said.
Johnson appeared in court Thursday and was held on $500,000 bail. Prosecutors said he had a prior illegal weapons possession arrest in New Jersey, The LA Times said, without elaborating.