Inland Regional Center

‘Shannon Loved Everybody': Girlfriend Says of San Bernardino Attack Victim

Shannon Johnson was one of the 14 people who died tragically in the San Bernardino mass shooting incident on Dec. 2, 2015

Shannon Johnson, 45, was the lone victim who lived in Los Angeles, commuting for more than an hour by train each morning to San Bernardino County, where he worked as a health inspector.

Girlfriend Mandy Pfifer said Shannon liked to finish all his paperwork on the train so he had extra time to chat with colleagues, including Farook.

"Shannon said it was like a little United Nations," said Pfifer, a longtime member of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's Crisis Response Team. "Shannon loved everybody."

On Wednesday, Johnson was his usual self: Making a light-hearted joke with colleague Denise Peraza at their department's holiday banquet about how the clock on the wall might be broken because time seemed to be going by so slowly.

Five minutes later, Johnson and Peraza were huddled under a table as bullets flew across the room. He held her close and told her, "I got you," Peraza wrote in a statement Friday.

"I believe I am still here today because of this amazing man," she said.

Johnson grew up in Kentucky and played baseball at a college in Georgia, said his ex-wife, Tina Johnson, who lives in South Carolina. She said they were married for six years in the 1990s.

He loved to watch sports and "had memorized all the stats," she said.

He also loved to make people laugh.

"He had southern down-home type of humor," Johnson said. "It was not dry wit."

Pfifer said that on their last morning together, she woke up unexpectedly at 3 a.m., feeling the need to spend a couple extra hours with him.

"So that's really special," she said, breaking up. "That's a really special memory."

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