Montgomery Co. police take armed man into custody after hourslong barricade

After hours of negotiations, police in Maryland’s Montgomery County took a man into custody Tuesday morning. They said he had fired shots off a balcony and barricaded himself in an apartment.

SWAT officers got into the apartment at 9:20 a.m. and took Christian Johnson, 32, into custody. Police said in a tweet the situation was “safely resolved.”

Johnson’s four-year-old child was the only other person with him in the apartment, Shiera Goff, a spokeswoman for the department, said at a news conference.

His child wasn’t hurt but was taken to the hospital to be evaluated and is being reunited with the mother.

Johnson is believed to have fired shots from a balcony at a high-rise apartment in the 14000 block of Castle Boulevard sometime before 2:25 a.m., Goff said.

Johnson is prohibited from owning a gun in Maryland; police found a rifle and live ammunition in the apartment.

Goff couldn’t offer information about the type of gun Johnson used or whether police forced entry into the apartment.

Listen to WTOP's reporter Nick Iannelli reporting on the arrest

Because of the suspect’s access to the balcony, residents around Castle Boulevard and Castle Ridge Circle areas in Silver Spring were asked by police to shelter in place for more than three hours. That shelter in place was lifted just before 9:30 a.m.

Goff said no one was hurt when the shots were fired or when Johnson was taken into custody.

Police said the Johnson moved from inside an apartment to out onto the balcony during their negotiations.

Goff said communication was “relatively peaceful” while police tried to get Johnson to leave the apartment early Tuesday morning.

Police didn’t have information on charges and didn’t comment on whether Johnson has a criminal history.

A map of the area is below:

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli reported from the scene in Montgomery County.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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