Court records shed light into standoff suspect’s state of mind

By From page A1 | February 06, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The man at the center of a seven-hour police and SWAT team standoff at a Cormorant Court home on Tuesday has a lengthy history of severe recurring mental health problems.

Gordon K. Johnson, 27, of Fairfield, has been in and out of an Oakland mental health hospital for the past four years and has previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia and a bipolar disorder, according to court records.

Johnson had been staying at his parents’ home until Tuesday when his mother heard a loud bang around 1:30 p.m. and then saw her son holding a rifle. When Johnson started making threats, the mother and the rest of the family members fled the house and called 911, but not before Johnson barricaded himself in his bedroom.

Police, in no hurry for an armed confrontation, surrounded the home and began the slow process of trying to get Johnson to surrender. Negotiators’ calls into the home went unanswered and a small police robot equipped with video cameras was put inside the house and was greeted by Johnson with what one police officer described as “gestures.”

Neighbors were encouraged to leave the cordoned-off area or to stay inside and out of any possible line of fire as police snipers and spotters took up strategic positions nearby.

After darkness fell, police fired several rounds of tear gas through bedroom windows and ignited several flash bangs. Two more hours of efforts to force Johnson from the home were not successful, so an armed and armored tactical team forced their way into the home and Johnson was subdued and arrested.

Other than the short-term effects of tear gas, Johnson was not hurt and no officers were hurt during the standoff and confrontation.

Police seized a Colt Trooper rifle from the home along with 28 rounds of ammunition.

Johnson, who has a 2009 felony conviction for drug possession in South Carolina, was booked into the jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and assault.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 2 comments

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  • my2centsFebruary 06, 2014 - 5:06 am

    Congratulations to FPD expert SWAT officers for the non lethal arrest. It sounds like it was a dangerous and tense situation. Glad we did not have a situation here like the one in Orange County where police killed a homeless man during an arrest. Clearly our officers are more well trained and I am proud of that!

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  • P.J.February 06, 2014 - 8:45 am

    And once again.....even with the man's record of mental illness, plus his previous conviction of drug use, there is a gun in the house, within his reach. Please believe me, I do feel we have a right to own guns, but do you see how many homes, with mentally ill persons, still keep guns on hand? Simply does not make sense. I can only say that our police did a very good job. Thanks!

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