Man's arsenal included more than 32 firearms Officers were warned of cache of weapons Wednesday, June 21, 2006 By Michelle Hunter East Jefferson bureau Before sheriff's deputies tried to take William Christy into custody last week for a mental health evaluation, authorities had been warned that he might have several guns inside his Metairie home. But when the tear gas cleared after a 19-hour standoff in which two deputies were wounded and Christy was killed, investigators entered the two-story Elmwood Park house and found an arsenal of more than 32 firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun, an Uzi submachine gun and several thousand rounds of ammunition. Christy, who was killed by a SWAT team sniper, had even built wooden shooting platforms underneath several windows to steady his weapons. "He was ready to do battle," said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, who displayed all the weapons collected from Christy's house, at 4624 Alexander Drive, during a news conference Tuesday. Lee also updated the condition of Deputy Russell Varmall, who was shot in his upper arm during the standoff. The bullet ripped a fist-sized hole in Varmall's arm and shattered the bone. But Lee said the deputy is in good spirits and is expected to completely recover. Deputy Everett Beelman was shot in the lower torso, but the bullet did not penetrate his body armor. He was treated and released the same day. The firearms displayed covered three large tables and a wall's ledge in a conference room of JPSO headquarters in Harvey. Officers identified the AK-47 that they believe Christy used to fire armor-piercing rounds at deputies. On another table was a black tactical vest that investigators said Christy was wearing when they found his body in a second-floor room. In one pocket was a .45-caliber pistol and in other, 12 magazines loaded with ammunition, about 120 rounds total, Lee said. Christy's collection of firearms included several smaller handguns: a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber Colt and a Ruger .357 Magnum. For bigger firepower, he had several semiautomatic assault rifles, a Mac-10 submachine gun and an M-1 carbine -- a firearm used by the military between the 1940s and the 1960s -- fitted with a silencer made out of a soda bottle. Christy, a Vietnam veteran, had boxes of magazines and ammunition, five knives, a rusted sword and a baton. Also found in the house was a life-size Dracula mannequin that had been masked and armed with a plastic gun taped to its hand. Lee said Christy may have intended to use the dummy to distract officers. "We knew he had weapons, but we had no idea he had prepared the way he did," Lee said. Lee said, however, that Christy did not arm himself and fortify his house in anticipation of the department's attempt to take him into custody. Christy probably didn't even know the Sheriff's Office was coming, he said. Instead, Lee speculated Christy was preparing for the National Security Administration, the federal agency relatives and neighbors have said he feared was out to kill him. A relative who went to the Jefferson Parish coroner's office June 13 to apply for an order for protective custody told officials that Christy was "extremely paranoid about the NSA," believing members of the agency had lined his fence posts with dynamite and had snipers positioned in neighboring houses waiting to take a shot, the order said. A hand-painted sign that hung from his front door accused the NSA of kidnapping and killing residents to get at hidden oil reserves underneath their property. The relative obtained the protective custody order after hearing from concerned neighbors, who watched Christy's mental condition deteriorate for two months. That's when neighbors said he stopped cutting the grass on his usually neatly trimmed front yard. He had been living in the house without electricity and utilities since Hurricane Katrina. Christy had been living alone in the house since his mother died in 2004. Neighbors said the hand-lettered sign and others like it went up about three weeks before the standoff. Although they had no way to confirm it, authorities said they think Christy, who served in the Navy, more than likely acquired the weapons over time. Christy had no criminal record and no documented history of mental illness. "With his history, he could have gone into any gun shop and bought a gun," Lee said. . . . . . . . Michelle Hunter can be reached at [email protected] or (504) 883-7054. http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/metro/index.ssf?/base/news-15/1150870175292620.xml Cliffs: We thought he might be crazy, so we went to his house and killed him.