Denise Peraza and Shannon Johnson sat next to each other at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday morning joking that the clock must be broken, as co-workers are wont to do. Minutes later when bullets starting spraying the room meant to host a holiday banquet, both dove under a table with Johnson using his own body to shield his colleague, as the utterly selfless among us are wont to do. "Amidst all the chaos, I'll always remember him saying these three words, 'I got you,'" Peraza, who is currently recovering from at least one gunshot, writes on Facebook. The 45-year-old health inspector succeeded in saving Peraza, but was one of 14 killed in the shooting, reports NBC News.
"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," writes Peraza. A GoFundMe page set up to return Johnson's remains to his home state has surpassed its $35,000 goal, with $45,000 raised as of this writing; Johnson's girlfriend says any excess after his wishes are met "will be used to spread his message of "I Got You." Read more about those who died here.