Skip to comments.Rialto's Eisenhower High School basketball coach Steve Johnson shot in San Bernardino
Posted on 01/22/2013 9:15:13 PM PST by doug from upland
SAN BERNARDINO - Steve Johnson, Eisenhower High School's popular award-winning boy's basketball coach, remained in a Loma Linda hospital Tuesday night, recovering from gunshot wounds that he said were the result of a robbery at a local park.
Johnson, 47, of Yucaipa, was shot several times in his upper torso, after stopping at Seccombe Lake Park on Fifth Street in San Bernardino Monday night before 8 p.m. to use the bathroom on his way to get gasoline, San Bernardino police said.
Johnson said he was approached by three unidentified black men, Sgt. Gary Robertson said.
The men demanded his wallet then shot Johnson with a handgun, striking him several times in his upper body, police said. Friends of Johnson's said he was struck four times, including once in the abdomen and once in the arm.
The men fled on foot having taken no property, police said. Johnson drove himself to a nearby police station where he was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The wounds were not life-threatening, police said, but news of the incident has rippled through the Rialto community, where school district officials, students and parents expressed shock over how the well-liked athletic director and former math teacher would end up the victim of gun violence, which in San Bernardino last year resulted in 47 homicides.
"We are shocked and saddened at this horrific news," said Syeda Jafri, spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District.
Harry Stenzhorn, a friend of Johnson's who visited the Eagles coach in the hospital, said Johnson was alert but in a lot of pain.
"This certainly shouldn't happen to a person like this," Stenzhorn said. "He would always go the extra mile for you and not just those he knew, anyone."
Johnson was inducted into the Rialto Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and was chosen as the The Sun's and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2010.
Eisenhower won California's Division II state title in 2009 with a record of 32-3 - the first San Bernardino County boys basketball team to ever reach a state title game.
"The outpouring of love and support from not only the Rialto education community but all over the Inland Empire for this championship human being has been tremendously overwhelming," Jafri said.
"Steve Johnson's selflessness and unyielding dedication to the children of Rialto is matched by his kind spirit. Our hearts at this time are with coach Johnson's family."
The Eagles played their regularly scheduled Citrus Belt League game Tuesday night, where they routed Redlands High School, 62-33.
Those in the park Tuesday afternoon said the site has fallen apart in recent years.
Indeed, piles of trash have collected in the parking lots. The restrooms are locked, plastered with graffiti and smell of the soiled diapers and human feces laying near the outside walls.
"It used to be a really, really nice place," said Michael Patton, 65. "Families came. This used to be a beautiful place. You could walk through it at night. This place is destitute."
Patton said he likes to relax at the park in the afternoon. But he always leaves by sundown.
"If you're here after 8 o'clock, you're either homeless or looking for something," Patton said. "I wouldn't show up here after 8 o'clock."
A 40-year-old homeless man named "Kevin" said one takes chances by spending time in the park.
"I don't think this town is safe for me period," he said. "I'm homeless. I'm white. You're probably safer walking the streets. It's dangerous (in the park)."
Danny Fowler, 41, summed up what the park's reputation among locals.
"People get robbed, killed, everything like that, know what I mean?" he said.
Anyone with information on this case should contact the San Bernardino Police Department at 909-384-5742, or the Hot Line at 909-384-5656.
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/breakingnews/ci_22425153/rialto-high-school-basketball-coach-shot#ixzz2IlvxnMjX
I would speculate that this is another mind fried on drugs which has created a murderous zombie hard wired for crime.
Exactly, especially in San berdoo. No person in their right mind would stop at a park restroom in San berdoo no matter how bad ya gotta go. Things that make ya say ummmmmm.
doug....you and bunch us remember where all the bodies are buried so to speak don’t we?...all the dirt...starting back with the Clintoons.......and now bammey boy....can’t believe how corrupt our govt and politicians are....
Living in the Rust Belt, there was a time when people from here would move to California for the good life. No more. It is a tragedy what has happened to that state.
very sad indeed....
Disarm residents of democrat congressional districts and watch gun crime almost disappear.
He stopped to use the locked bathroom piled high with trash on his way to get gasoline?
This ain’t adding up.
My question exactly, especially after reading this sentence:
The restrooms are locked, plastered with graffiti and smell of the soiled diapers and human feces laying near the outside walls.
As much as I hate to say it, I think the coach was in the park for other reasons.....sex? Drugs? Stranger things have happened to presumably good people.
We are watching the greatest nation this planet has ever seen be disassembled before our very eyes. I never believed it possible because we had the “Constitution.” No, it can never happen here. It could happen in Germany, but it can never happen here. I was wrong.
That is the #1 problem we have in this country: No media.
Sure, we have the "media", but they stopped using their brains years ago. In this case, we have pertinent details right there in their own story but they can't even see them. No wonder we're going to hell in a hand basket...
“...after stopping at Seccombe Lake Park on Fifth Street in San Bernardino Monday night before 8 p.m. to use the bathroom on his way to get gasoline...”
Really good odds are that he is gay and was looking for lust.
“...Seccombe Lake Park has fallen into disrepair... In recent years... the park (has become) an oasis for prostitution, drug dealing, assaults, and panhandling. Few local residents use the park, even in daylight hours.”