Augusta, GA (WJBF) - Augusta University will raise funds for a scholarship and the Jaguar baseball team will wear an honorary decal on their batting helmets for the 2016 season to remember former Augusta College baseball player and American hero Shannon Hilliard Johnson, who died heroically on December 2, 2015 in the San Bernardino, California terrorist attacks.
According to a release from Augusta University, the circular decal to be worn on the helmets' features the American flag with Johnson's initials and the quote, "I got you".
Johnson, 45, of Los Angeles, California, was killed in the tragic incident in San Bernardino, California while he and his fellow employees were attending a Christmas party. He reportedly died heroically as he acted as a shield for a fellow employee who survived the massacre of 14 people. He will be remembered throughout America for his statement "I got you" as he covered her body from the gunfire of the assailants, according to the release.
"Shannon Johnson is a true American hero, but he's also part of Jaguar Nation," Jason Eller, Augusta University baseball head coach said. "Although his time with us was short, our memory of him should live on. We want our students, athletes and community to remember not only what he did but who he was. Shannon is one of us. Once a Jaguar, always a Jaguar."
Augusta University will raise funds for a future scholarship to honor Johnson.
According to school officials, Johnson played college baseball for the Augusta College Jaguars in the early 1990s. he was reportedly a sophomore transfer from Chattahoochee Valley Community College. He joined the Jaguars for the 1992 season as a catcher. He wore No. 13 and split time behind the plate under head coach Skip Fite. He attended Briarwood Academy in Warrenton, Georgia. He later graduated from Windsor Academy in Macon, Georgia before signing a baseball scholarship to Middle Georgia Junior College and eventually played for Augusta College.
In 2004, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from Cal State University of San Bernardino. He reportedly had plans of pursuing his doctorate in the same area. In 2005, he went to work for San Bernardino County as an Environmental Health Specialist where he remained employed until the time of his death. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Robert L. Hilliard Jr. and Dorothy D. Hilliard; paternal grandfather, Joseph Frank Johnson; father, Robert "Bobby" Franklin Johnson; uncle, Robert "Bobby" L. Hilliard III.
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