John Phippen, a 56-year-old father of six, was fatally shot while shielding a woman from the gunfire, said Leah Nagyivanyi, Phippen’s neighbor and friend of 17 years.
According to Nagyivanyi, Phippen was hit after he and his son stopped to help someone else. Phippen was shot in the back, his son Travis Phippen was wounded in the arm.
Phippen, a Valencia, California native, died early Monday morning.
Phippen who lost his wife three years ago was the kind of person who got along with both children and adults, Nagyivanyi said.
“Our kids look up to us and look to us for guidance, but these kids considered John, their best friend,” Nagyivani said. “That tells a lot about the kind of person you are. He was everybody’s best friend.”
One time, when a boat flipped over during a camping trip, Phippen and his son sprang into action just like they did at the concert, she said.
“He was a man of integrity who always had your back,” she said. “There is nothing he couldn’t do for you, wouldn’t do for you. You didn’t even have to ask.