Wednesday, June 20, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 15

Man arrested after all-night standoff in Buellton


A 53-year-old Buellton man on probation allegedly barricaded himself in his house with his wife and threatened to set the building on fire. After a seven-hour overnight standoff, he surrendered to authorities on June 13, according to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call on the 500 block of Farmland Drive at 11 p.m. on June 12. Authorities determined that Michael Lee Johnson, a man on active county probation from a prior violent crime, was in the home and threatening to burn it down with his wife inside.

Johnson’s wife and a family pet were able to escape the home to a safe location, but Johnson “refused verbal commands” from officers and “appeared to be armed with a knife inside the residence,” according the release. Officers from the California Highway Patrol, County Fire, and AMR were dispatched to the scene, as well as the Sheriff’s Hostage Negotiation Team.

While setting up a perimeter around the house, deputies said they smelled an odor of natural gas, and it “became apparent that Johnson had turned on the gas from inside the residence” to fill the house with it. Authorities evacuated neighboring residences and sent emergency notifications to nearby residents to shelter in place. Officers also disconnected utility services to the house.

At about 5:30 a.m., after Johnson reportedly continued to ignore authorities, deputies deployed tear gas into the house. About 30 minutes later, Johnson surrendered with a “self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.” He was transported to a hospital and will be booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of making criminal threats and attempted arson.

A subsequent search of Johnson’s residence found “several firearms and other weapons,” according to the press release.

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