A Hero Remembered: “I Got You”

 

Though it has been almost two years since the December 2, 2015 tragedy that struck San Bernardino when a husband and wife attacked employees attending a Christmas party at the Inland Regional Center, killing 14 and injuring 22 of the 80 employees in attendance.

In May of this year, a 55-page report was detailing the account of the takedown by police was released. With the memories resurfacing with this release, we thought we would take a moment to highlight one of the heroes involved.

When gunfire erupted, 45yr old Shannon Johnson and his coworker 27yr old Denise Peraza were sitting together at a table, joking. In the following letter, she shares the story of her survival and pays tribute to Johnson, who she credits with saving her life.

This is Shannon Johnson. Wednesday morning at 10:55 am 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 that 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. Who will be deeply missed by all.

This is Shannon Johnson. My friend, my hero.

Shannon Johnson was an ex-truck driver from Georgia who earned his degree and, afterwards, obtained a position with the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. When the tragedy took place, his family set up a GoFundMe page to help with his funeral expenses. The world needs more heroes like Shannon.