The gathering at Firefighter Dajon Johnson’s Long Beach apartment had begun to wind down. The Los Angeles Rams had just secured their historic Super Bowl LVI victory. Johnson and his cousin stepped outside to take out the garbage when they encountered a couple in a heated argument.
One of the pair was Johnson’s neighbor. As they walked past the arguing couple, Johnson witnessed the man strike the woman repeatedly. Johnson intervened and shouted for the man to stop. The attacker turned his attention to Johnson and rushed toward him. Firefighter Johnson defended himself and knocked the attacker to the ground multiple times. As the assailant rebounded, he drew a pistol from his waistband and pointed it directly at Johnson’s face. Thankfully, Johnson’s neighbor pushed the man’s arm away just as he began firing. Johnson was struck twice – once on his right hand and once through his right thigh. Johnson retreated as the gunman continued firing. He reached the ground floor of his apartment, seeking aid and cover. As neighbors and bystanders fled, a couple who had been walking their dog past the building stopped to help. Johnson fashioned a tourniquet with the man’s belt as the couple dialed 9-1-1. Local police arrived soon after to secure the scene, and Johnson was quickly transported to a nearby hospital. After nearly six months of intense physical therapy, Johnson has fully recovered. While rehabilitating his leg, Johnson enrolled in paramedic school. He is expected to graduate in the spring of 2023 and cannot wait to return to duty.