The Mercury News Weekend

Police: `High chance' of mass shooting is prevented


A “high chance” of a mass shooting in Hollywood has been thwarted by police seizing a cache of guns and ammunition in a high-rise apartment where several rifles were pointed toward a nearby park, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Braxton Johnson was taken into custody Tuesday after he allegedly made violent threats involving weapons to security staff at the apartment building and people outside, the agency said Wednesday.

Police searched Johnson's apartment and found two assault rifles and highcapaci­ty ammunition magazines, all of which are illegal in California, as well as three handguns, a sniper rifle, a shotgun and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Investigat­ors have not said whether they uncovered any additional evidence of a plot to target the park, or Johnson's motive in pointing the rifles toward the area. Details about the threats that authoritie­s said he made Tuesday have not been released.

“From what we're seeing right now, there's 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 said Wednesday during a news conference.

The cache of guns and their setup in the highrise apartment were reminiscen­t of a 2017 massacre in Las Vegas, where the gunman fired 1,057 bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He killed 58 people below the hotel who were enjoying an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

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