LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Shannon Johnson, one of 14 people killed Wednesday in a massacre in San Bernardino, lived in Koreatown with his girlfriend of five years.
He drove a long way every day to San Bernardino for the job he loved. He worked like many of the slain and injured with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.
On Friday, Johnson’s longtime girlfriend spoke to CBS2’s Jasmine Viel about her love and her loss.
“He was the nicest guy in all the land,” said Mandy Pifer, choking back tears. “He was a superstar. We’re all very sad.”
She was surrounded Friday by friends, co-workers and loved ones as she left the apartment she shared with Johnson to speak to reporters about her boyfriend, a man she said loved to laugh.
Later at City Hall, she talked more about her grief.
“Shannon Johnson was my best friend,” Pifer said.
As part of the city’s Crisis Response Team, Pifer is usually one of the people consoling victims of a tragedy.
Tragically, the tables have been turned. Johnson was killed Wednesday along with 13 others, 11 of them co-workers at the Department of Public Health.
Pifer is still stunned because she said Johnson and his accused murderer Syed Farook were close.
“He loved Syed,” she said.
Pifer said Johnson loved talking about religion to everyone and never had a problem talking to Farook.
“Shannon never said anything about Syed becoming radicalized,” Pifer said. “And we would just laugh at this gang of bullies high on meth with their big guns. And we would call them ISIL, because it’s my understanding that that annoys them.”
Pifer said Johnson was a strong, loving and kind man.
One of the memories Pifer said she is holding on to came Tuesday morning. She woke up early, before Johnson had to leave for work and they talked for hours — cherishing something they loved to do, have a long and meaningful conversation.