We can all only imagine the horror going through folks mind during the massacre. That is what makes this story so unbelievable. Shannon Johnson is the true definition of a hero. He sacrificed himself for a co-worker he only knew on a professional basis. There May be evil in this world, but there is a heck of a lot of good too!
(CNN)“I got you.”
Those are the words Shannon Johnson told Denise Peraza as he shielded her with his body during Wednesday’s massacre at a county health department holiday party.
Johnson was one of 14 people who died at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. Peraza was one of 21 others who were wounded.
Through a statement given to CNN by her husband, Peraza called Johnson a friend and a hero.
She said in the aftermath of the shooting she couldn’t remember much, but she recalled how Johnson saved her life.
“I will always remember his left arm wrapped around me, holding me as close as possible next to him behind that chair,” she said. “And amidst all the chaos, I’ll always remember him saying these three words, “I got you.”
Johnson, 45, had been employed by San Bernardino County for 11 years. To his girlfriend, Mandy Pifer, he was the kindest man she had ever met.
To Peraza, he was her savior.
Just five minutes before two shooters fired close to 70 bullets into the crowd, she and Johnson were joking that the clock on the wall was broken because it had hardly moved.
The party had offered a reunion of sorts. Peraza and Johnson had worked in the same office, with desks adjacent to each other, until two months ago, when Peraza had transferred to another office.