HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - A man who allegedly made threatening comments to neighbors and staff at a Hollywood residential high-rise remained jailed today on charges of criminal threats and possession of illegal weapons, but police said there was no immediate indication he was planning to carry out a mass shooting.
Braxton Johnson, 25, was charged Thursday with two counts of possession of an assault weapon, one count of criminal threats and one count of solicitation of murder, according to the District Attorney's Office. He was being held in lieu of more than $1 million bail.
Johnson was arrested late Tuesday night when police responded to reports of a man suffering a mental health crisis. That led to a search of the man's 18th floor apartment at the Lumina Hollywood building at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street, where they seized three rifles, a shotgun and three semi- automatic pistols. Hundreds of rounds of ammunition were also seized, along with tactical gear.
Authorities said at least one of the weapons was aimed toward the apartment window, pointing toward a park below.
"There is a high chance that the officers, and obviously, security staff and the people who called, prevented a mass shooting from happening," Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Leonid Tsap told reporters following the arrest.
On Thursday night, however, the LAPD issued a statement saying "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," according to the statement.
One resident told KNX Newsradio that the man had made comments about owning weapons and noting that his 18th-floor apartment provided a prime perch for "sniping."
Tsap said Johnson was in possession of weaponry "with the ability to inflict a lot of damage to a lot of people."
Police said they traced Johnson's criminal history to at least one other state, where an additional investigation was ongoing. The other state or states were not disclosed.
District Attorney George Gascon in a statement also praised residents who came forward for potentially preventing an act of violence.
"Were it not for the brave actions of the witnesses in this case, this could have also been an incredible tragedy," Gascon said. "I want to also thank the LAPD for quickly apprehending this person and potentially saving countless lives
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