'I Got You' -Shannon Johnson
With all the focus on the shooters and the rehashing the cowardly acts of those determined to spread violence and fear, I think its good to talk about those who are not cowards and its their names we should remember most to take the power away from the martyr cowards.
‘I Got You:’ San Bernardino victim shielded female co-worker during shooting, saving her life
Described by friends as “a protector to all of those he loved,” 45-year-old Shannon Johnson wrapped his arms around his younger female co-worker when the shooting began and told her, “I got you.”
Johnson died in the San Bernardino massacre last week. Denise Peraza, the 27-year-old he comforted, lived.
Peraza told reporters in a statement over the weekend that she is alive because Johnson selflessly shielded her from the gunfire:
Wednesday morning at 10:55 a.m. we were seated next to each other at a table, joking about how we thought the large clock on the wall might be broken because time seemed to be moving so slowly.
I would have never guessed that only 5 minutes later, we would be huddled next to each other under the same table, using a fallen chair as a shield from over 60 rounds of bullets being fired across the room.
While I cannot recall every single second that played out that morning, I will always remember his left arm wrapped around me, holding me as close as possible next to him behind that chair.
And amidst all the chaos, I’ll always remember him saying these three words, “I got you.”
I believe I am still here today because of this amazing man. This amazing, selfless man who always brought a smile to everyone’s face in the office with his lively stories about his hometown back in Georgia.
This is Shannon Johnson, who will be deeply missed by all. This is Shannon Johnson. My friend, my hero.
A friend of Johnson’s girlfriend set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of sending his remains home to Georgia where he is from and his family still lives. They surpassed their $35,000 goal, raising close to $50,000 as of late Sunday night.
In an update on the fundraising page, the friend wrote that the remaining money will be “used to spread his message of ‘I Got You.’ ” It’s the type of simple phrase, like Todd Beamer’s “Let’s Roll” on Flight 93, that defines heroism.
“Shannon would want us to encourage the people of this world to take care of each other,” she wrote.
His girlfriend, Mandy Pifer, told the Los Angeles Times that Shannon, her boyfriend of three years, loved working at the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health because of its diversity. She said he often had “friendly conversations about religion with Syed Rizwan Farook, a fellow restaurant inspector and one of the shooters.”
After Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, began their rampage, killing 14 people during their department’s holiday lunch, Peraza quickly called her sister from her hiding spot. She’d been shot in the back. She wanted to tell her that she loved her.
Her sister, Stephanie Rose Baldwin, wrote a message on Facebook last week honoring Johnson for saving her younger sibling’s life.
“This angel of a man was sitting next to my sister when the shooting happened,” she wrote. “He helped protect her from the bullets and we are so grateful for his heroic love, that most likely saved her life. She said he was a very sweet man and she spoke with him often at work. Our heart breaks hearing of his passing, and it bursts knowing of his love for my sister.”
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of love. I am moved with great emotion to have walked this planet with Shannon Johnson. My faith in humanity continues...🌎
Ditto...how is it we are the same species?
I have immense faith in humanity because of people like Shannon, only 45 😪
RIP Shannon Johnson. His actions saved someone's life.
I hope his family and friends take comfort in the knowledge that he was a very brave man.
There is a gofundme campaign for him. His sacrifice is definitely worthy of the help.
I am awed by that loving kindness that the man showed to his coworker. That was beautiful. Its funny that no one is mentioning his religion-it doesn't really matter anymore. He showed what and who he was by his actions. I think he got what Jesus said better than most "religious" people and I don't know if he even believed. . . .You will know his disciples by their love.
Talk is cheap. He got the message that i think ALL real spiritual leaders taught about-however he got it- to care for others lovingly. That didn't take a "declaration" of faith or a "witness" of his dedication. He didn't get baptized or take shahada or anything to SAY who he really was, and what he really believed. Not fighting a war, not telling others how they should believe. James says our religion is what we DO. Take care of others. Not talk about doctrine. Good principles for living life, rules, are for the sake of society, but who we truly are is not defined by the building we worship in, or the format or ritual, or how well we perfectly follow the rules.
He told us his religion. He lived it and he died it. I wish he could have survived. I appreciate his credo and I think it is what the creator, which "I" believe in, wants of us. "I got you". Bless him, Whether he believed in God or not, he figured out how to be a real human being.