The Vallejo High School football team’s defensive coordinator Joe Pastrana took a bullet Tuesday afternoon when off-campus adults fired into a crowd of Vallejo students, but his injuries are not life-threatening and he remains in stable condition.
We know that Vallejo has crime issues, but a very scary incident Tuesday afternoon took the Solano County community into school shooting territory. The Chronicle reports on the shooting of an assistant football coach at Vallejo High Tuesday afternoon, as the school football team’s defensive coordinator Joe Pastrana was shot trying to break up a fight between students and adults who were cruising the school grounds for some reason. Pastrana survived, and remains in stable condition at an undisclosed hospital.
UPDATE: Video of fight outside Vallejo High, before one group took off in car & fired back toward 2nd group, hitting & wounding coach who had intervened in dispute. @VallejoPd investigating. 📹: @VallejoCrime pic.twitter.com/5Pdkz9E3Qs— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) September 14, 2022
The two videos above show the before moments and aftermath of this incident, though they are in reverse order. The lower video shows the lead-up, where at about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, a white-shorted individual gets out of a black Audi and starts fighting with one student in particular. That fellow is overwhelmed by other students who join in, who whoop him pretty badly, and force him to retreat into the Audi as staff converge on the scrum. The upper video shows the terror of students being fired at with gunshots as the car drove away, when Pastrana was hit by gunfire.
Joe Pastrana isn’t just any assistant football coach. According to the Vallejo Times-Herald, he was “a 2009 Vallejo High graduate” and “the all-time single-season school record holder for most tackles in a season with 110.” That he took a bullet for a student will likely only grow Pastrana’s legend at the school.
"We have a courageous staff member who came out here to protect children and potentially he saved a child's life," Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams told KTVU. "It's a tragedy any time a shooting happens in front of a campus. I believe this is an act committed by people who do not value human life."
We do at least know that thankfully, Pastrana remains in stable condition. "The fact [is] that it's not life-threatening injuries and that he'll be OK,” Vallejo Unified Superintendent William Spalding also told that station.
Vallejo High was of course placed on lockdown after the shooting, though school was already out for the day. “At the time of the altercation and shooting, there was a college fair, three classes in session, and approximately 200 student-athletes on campus,” Spalding said in a message to parents obtained by the Times-Herald. “After the area was declared safe by the Vallejo Police Department, the remaining students and staff were released through the campus’ east gate.” Vallejo High classes are in session again Wednesday.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Vallejo Police Department Detective Division at (707) 648-4524.
Image: Vallejo High School via Facebook