A Riverside County man found with various weapons in his truck while trying to enter a federal building in downtown Los Angeles this week told authorities he was a witness and a confidential informant who needed protection, officials said Thursday.
Erik Christopher Younggren, 34, of Cherry Valley, was charged in a federal criminal complaint on suspicion of attempted possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in a federal facility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Despite the large law enforcement response to the incident at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building Wednesday morning, Younggren is being charged with a misdemeanor offense.
He allegedly tried to enter the parking garage at 255 E. Temple St. about 9:30 a.m. when he was stopped by a Protective Security officer hired by the Federal Protective Services.
Younggren allegedly stated that he was a “witness” who needed to enter the facility, and when the security officer asked if he was armed, he admitted that he was in possession of a handgun and two rifles, according to the complaint.
A search of his truck led to the discovery of two rifles, a .45-caliber semi-automatic firearm and approximately 565 rounds of ammunition.
“When he was detained by authorities, Younggren was wearing body armor with loaded magazines and knives attached,” officials said.
During an interview with authorities, Younggren allegedly said he went to the building because he needed “protection,” and he explained that he was a “confidential informant assigned to a confidential federal task force,” according to the complaint.
Younggren is expected appear in federal county Friday. He faces a sentence of up to one year in federal prison, officials said.
Authorities have not released a possible motive in the incident, but the investigation is ongoing.
The FPS is leading the inquiry, while the Los Angeles Police Department, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted.