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Police search for suspects in shooting of Rialto basketball coach

January 23, 2013 |  7:11 am

Police are searching for the suspects who shot a Rialto basketball coach at a park in San Bernardino earlier this week.

Authorities say 47-year-old Eisenhower High School boys' Coach Steve Johnson was on his way to get gas on Monday when he stopped at Seccombe Lake to use a restroom.

In the parking lot he was approached by three males who demanded his wallet, a San Bernardino Police Department release said. At least one of the suspects fired a handgun at Johnson, striking him several times in the upper torso. The suspects then fled on foot, the statement said.

Johnson was able to drive himself to the police department and was then taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"We are shocked and saddened at this horrific news," Rialto Unified School District spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said in a statement. "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."

Johnson has been Eisenhower's coach since 1993, and he also serves as the school's athletic director. He was named coach of the year in 2009 by the Los Angeles Times.

One staff member told KTLA News that the mood at the school was "somber."

"He's a big part of our campus," the staff member said.

Anyone with information on this case should contact police at (909) 384-5742, or (909) 384-5656.

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-- Eric Sondheimer

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