A Camp Pendleton-based Marine who shot up his apartment in Vista on Christmas night, prompting a standoff with sheriff’s deputies, was sentenced Thursday to three years probation, to be administered by San Diego Veteran’s Court.

Christopher Michael Johnson, 26, pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of shooting at an occupied dwelling.

North County Regional Center, courthouse in Vista. Photo by Chris Stone

Vista Judge Carlos Armour suspended a 365-day sentence and agreed to let the Veterans Court program — which helps members of the military with mental illness get treatment and reintegrate back into the community as productive citizens — dictate the specifics of how Johnson can successfully complete probation.

Johnson fired multiple rounds from his .44-caliber magnum revolver inside his apartment in the 900 block of Taylor Street in Vista around 11:50 p.m. Dec. 25.

“Rounds went through a flat-screen TV in the living room,” sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Ness said. “Another round, possibly fired through a bedroom patio screen door, traveled through a closed window of a nearby apartment. The window shattered and some of the vertical window blinds broke. Fragments of the bullet were located on a small kitchen table.”

Sheriff’s deputies attempted to contact Johnson by phone and via a public address system, Ness said. The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail was called to the scene after Johnson failed to respond.

“Once Johnson complied with commands and exited his apartment, deputies took him into custody without incident” about 4:45 a.m. Dec. 26, Ness said. No one was injured by the gunfire.

Eight firearms seized from the apartment were ordered destroyed or sold to a licensed gun dealer.

–City News Service

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