A Filipino football coach at Vallejo High School was shot while breaking up a fight between students outside the school grounds.
According herald of time, the victim, Joseph Pastrana, was injured on September 13 by an unidentified suspect who drove away in a black four-door Audi. The incident happened around 3:40 p.m.
In a statement to NewsweekVallejo High athletic director Josh Ramos said the suspect was not a student at the school.
Police reports indicate that Pastrana was hit by at least one bullet in the upper hip and suffered a non-life threatening injury. He was immediately taken to a local hospital and has now been released, continuing to recover at home.
Pastrana’s wife and four-year-old son witnessed the unfortunate incident. Speaking to The Times Herald, Pastrana’s sister, Jocilee, said the mental and emotional anguish is taking its toll on the whole family.
“It’s very traumatic for us because we know we could have lost a brother. His son and his wife were there to see him and it is traumatic for them. His son wanted to know why his father was lying on the ground. All the while, all Joe could say was get Joey (his son) out of there. Keep it safe.
Police and school officials praised Pastrana, praising him for his bravery and commitment to his duties as a school employee.
“He is a very brave member of staff who has potentially saved the life of another child or the lives of multiple people,” Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said, according to The Times Herald.
District Superintendent William Spalding added, “Our hearts go out to our injured colleague, our Site Safety Officer (Pastrana). Everything indicates that he will be on the mend and we are very grateful for that.
In a statement to The Times Herald, Vallejo City Unified School District public information officer Celina Baguiao said she will provide guidance and other resources to staff and students who need it.
“We will continue to have counselors available to our staff and students as we all handle events differently,” Baguiao said. “Other than additional site security, administrators and counselors, on campus and additional VPD patrols, we haven’t done anything different,” she said. “We continue to check in with our colleagues and students and provide space for those who need it,” she added.
At a press conference last Tuesday, Williams said there were videos of the incident online. The Times Herald reported that Williams neither confirmed nor denied whether police would release the suspect’s vehicle plate number.
During her speech, Williams said the incidents in or near schools are a tragedy because they should be a safe place for children.
“This is a senseless act of violence committed by individuals who do not value human life,” Williams said, according to the Times Herald.
Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Vallejo Police Department Detective Division at 707-648-4524.
In order to help with Pastrana’s medical and legal costs, a GoFundMe page has been created, which can be found here.
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