SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A high school basketball coach remains hospitalized after being shot during an attempted robbery.
Steven Johnson, 47, of Yucaipa, was approached by three men who tried to take his wallet Monday night when he stopped at Seaccombe Lake to use the city park’s restroom.
“During this time one or more of the suspects fired a handgun at the victim, striking him several times in the upper torso,” according to the San Bernardino Police Department. “The suspects fled on foot with no property.”
Johnson, who coaches at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, was shot four times.
He was able to drive himself to a police station, where he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“We are shocked and saddened at this horrific news. The outpouring of love and support from the Rialto community for this championship human being has been tremendously overwhelming. Steve Johnson’s selflessness and unyielding dedication to the children of Rialto is matched by his kind spirit. Our hearts are with the Johnson family,” the Rialto Unified School District said in a statement.
Johnson has been coaching for 20 years at the Rialto high school. The L.A. Times named Johnson “Coach of the Year” in 2009.
Many of the students who spoke with CBS2/KCAL9′s Greg Mills said Johnson was mild-mannered until he stepped onto the basketball court, where his coaching techniques were intense.
A small group of relatives and colleagues visited Johnson’s hospital room Tuesday and said the coach seemed in good spirits.
“He smiled…it’s a good sign,” said Syeda Jafri, of the Rialto Unified School District, with tears in her eyes. “We did visit him at the hospital. And, of course it’s heart-wrenching when a colleague and a friend is shot down…We are there for his mother and his family.”
Johnson was last listed in fair condition.
Anyone with information about the crime was asked to call the San Bernardino Police Department at (909)384-5742, or the Hot Line at (909)384-5656.