LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The mother of a man police consider armed and dangerous is talking about the SWAT team raid and search for her son.
Cell phone video taken by neighbors on East Wellington Street in the Beechmont neighborhood shows the LMPD SWAT team arriving on the scene Friday evening, armed with rifles and using a P.A. system to call for Matthew Johnson to come outside with his hands up.
The standoff lasted four hours and ended after police fired tear gas into the home. They found that Johnson wasn't inside.
"My curtains are torn, my windows are broken," said the suspects mother, Darlene Johnson. "My couch was upside down."
She said the SWAT team turned her whole house upside down looking for her son and checking everything down to the vents. Police were trying to serve Matthew Johnson, 20, a high-risk warrant for endangering his neighbors. Some of those same neighbors said they spotted Matthew at the home earlier in the day.
"That's what the whole issue is about is guns," Darlene Johnson said. "Because (neighbors) keep calling the police saying we got guns. There's no guns."
But neighbors produced a cell phone picture of Johnson with a handgun on Thursday night, 24 hours before the standoff. Mike Richardson told police Johnson was waving the gun around threatening to shoot people after Richardson and Johnson got into an altercation.
"It's been an ongoing thing all summer long," Richardson said. "And police have been called out here so many times it's ridiculous."
In fact, Richardson said police were called again hours after the SWAT team left when Richardson got into a fight with the suspect's cousin. Richardson said a swollen black eye was a result of that fight.
Richardson said Johnson's family blames Richardson for the arrest warrant that led to the standoff and Johnson being a wanted man. Richardson added that officers' classification of Johnson as "armed and dangerous" is accurate.
"I fear for my life, 100 percent," Richardson said.
The suspect's mom admits her son has a criminal history, and is a far cry from his days as a military school graduate. His picture in uniform still hangs on her wall.
But Darlene Johnson said her son does not have a gun and is not a threat. She said she wants him to contact her or his attorney to turn himself in peacefully, fearing the alternative.