A beloved and brave high school football coach in the San Francisco Bay area was reportedly shot in a drive-by on Tuesday afternoon while trying to break up a fight on campus.
According to Vallejo, Cal., police chief Shawny Williams, “we have a courageous staff member who came out here to protect children, and he potentially saved a child’s life,” Fox 2 Oakland reported.
The altercation, the source of which is unknown at this time, erupted in front of the school in the street, according to authorities.
The staffer, assistant football coach Joseph Pastrana, “Coach Joe” as the team’s defensive coordinator — an apt job title given his heroism — is known at the school, was wounded by at least one bullet in the incident that occurred at about 3:45 p.m. local time.
The suspect or suspects are still at large.
Authorities placed the school under lockdown following the potentially deadly encounter.
A video uploaded to Twitter and shared by several accounts on the social media platform that purports to be this incident shows a brawl outside the school underway, and then shots seem to ring out.
Vallejo High School Football Coach Joe Pastrana Shot Trying to Stop Fight.9/14/2022 pic.twitter.com/bq8zMJ5t8L
— D. Scott @eclipsethis2003 (@eclipsethis2003) September 14, 2022
“At the time of the incident, police say there was a college fair going on, three classes in session and approximately 200 student-athletes on campus. After the area was deemed safe by officers, those remaining students and staff were released from campus,” Bay Area ABC7 reported about the incident that could have had far-reaching consequences.
Coach Pastrana graduated from Vallejo High, where he works, in 2009, and was a football star there.
He was transported to a local hospital with a non-life-threatening injury and fortunately is listed in stable condition.
Joe Pastrana, defensive coordinator of Vallejo High varsity football team, expected to survive after being shot. @VCUSD supe & @VallejoPd Chief Shawny Williams call him “courageous” for breaking up fight. One group then took off in car & fired shots at 2nd group, hitting coach pic.twitter.com/LGJ6On4vfY
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) September 14, 2022
The investigation is ongoing, including trying to determine a motive for the crime as well as other circumstances pertaining to it
Police are apparently on the lookout for three male suspects who fled in a “dark-colored” sedan “while shooting back towards the remaining group,” Vallejo PD explained in a press release.
The gunman and the other suspects are believed to not be students at the school.
Cops have asked for the public’s help in identifying them or for any other information relevant to the incident.
Classes resumed on Wednesday, and the school is beefing up security on campus. Mental health counselors will also be present.
Head football coach Mike Wilson said the team is “taking the news very hard.” The players were in the locker room getting ready for practice when the extremely disturbing situation went down.
Watch a report aired on the Vallejo High School shooting by NBC Bay Area:
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