Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by David Steutel

Coach Johnson

Updated 8:44 p.m.

According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, a highly successful high school basketball coach at Eisenhower (Rialto, Calif.) is resting in a hospital with non life-threatening gunshot wounds he incurred Monday night at a local park.

The Rialto Unified School District officials confirmed that varsity boys basketball Steve Johnson, 47, was shot several times and is being treated at the Loma Linda University Medical Center near Colton.

San Bernardino Police officials told the newspaper that Johnson stopped at a San Bernardino park to use the bathroom just before 8 p.m. Monday when he was approached by three males who demanded his wallet. At least one of the suspects fired a handgun at the victim, striking him multiple times in his upper chest region, once in the abdomen and once in the arm.

According to the report, Johnson drove himself to a nearby police station and was then taken to the hospital. The gunmen fled on foot and took no property.

"We are shocked and saddened at this horrific news," Rialto Unified School District spokesperson Syeda Jafri said in a statement early Tuesday. "The outpouring of love and support from not only the Rialto community but the Inland Empire for this championship coach has been tremendously overwhelming. Our hearts are with the Johnson family. He's a tremendous child advocate."

Eisenhower won California's Division II state title in 2009 with a record of 32-3 and Johnson was the MaxPreps California Coach of the Year.

Once news traveled that Johnson's wounds were not life-threatening, the Inland Empire region heaved a giant sigh of relief, Jafri told the newspaper. The team even played its regularly scheduled game Tuesday night against Redlands, winning 62-33.