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Allegedly Suicidal Man with Loaded AK-47 Rifle Arrested at Buellton Gas Station

Suspect taken into custody without incident after he earlier was reported to have threatened an individual with a gun

Rifles Click to view larger
Among the weapons seized by authorities after a high-profile arrest at a Buellton gas station Saturday afternoon were a loaded AK-47 rifle and a loaded .22-caliber rifle. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

A Solvang man was arrested at gunpoint at a Buellton gas station Saturday following an earlier incident in which he allegedly threatened someone with his own gun after posting on social media, “I’ll see you in the afterlife.”

Timothy Wayne Johnson Click to view larger
Timothy Wayne Johnson, 57, of Solvang, was arrested on several weapons- and criminal threats-related charges (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

According to Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Calderon, the suspect — identified as 57-year-old Timothy Wayne Johnson — was involved in a dispute in the 600 block of Roskilde Road in Solvang.

He said Johnson was reported to have pointed a gun at an individual in the altercation and made threatening remarks.

Deputies arrived at the scene, three blocks north of Mission Drive/Highway 246 and just west of Alisal Road, around 11 a.m., but the suspect already had fled in a vehicle.

“Johnson was reported to be in possession of an AK-47 rifle and other firearms,” Calderon said. “It was also reported to law enforcement that Johnson was intoxicated and had posted a suicidal statement on a social media account stating, ‘I’ll see you in the afterlife.’”

A search was launched and, with the help of a county Air Support Unit helicopter and the California Highway Patrol, the suspect’s car was located at a Mobil gas station at 188 E. Highway 246.

Authorities converged on the site, which is sandwiched between McMurray Road and the northbound Highway 101 exit ramp.

“Because of the threats made by Johnson and the fact that he was known to have a firearm in his possession, (he) was arrested at gunpoint,” Calderon said.

He said Johnson initially refused to surrender but eventually was taken into custody without further incident. There were no injuries.

Inside Johnson’s car, Calderon said, authorities found a loaded AK-47 and a loaded .22-caliber rifle. He added that deputies obtained a search warrant for his residence, where they found two handguns, a large cache of ammunition and a high capacity AK-47 ammo drum.

Calderon said Johnson was booked into County Jail on charges of making criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of an assault weapon in California, possession of a silencer, possession of a large-capacity magazine, and carrying a loaded firearm in public.

Bail was set at $50,000.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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