A gofundme account has been set up for Vallejo High School football coach Joe Pastrana, who was shot dead outside the school on Tuesday afternoon after helping break up a fight.
Pastrana was released from hospital and is in stable condition at home with his family. According to his sister, Jocilee Pastrana, “The proceeds from the donations will go directly to Coach Joe, his wife, his son Joey, as well as his daughter on the way to help support and cover any legal/medical expenses incurred. as we face the sequel.
The gofundme page has already received over $3,000 towards its goal of $15,000. By 4 p.m. Friday, 55 people had donated to the page. The site is www.gofundme.com/f/wrongful-shooting-at-vhs-of-coach-joe.
Pastrana was breaking up a fight on Nebraska Street as the Tuesday school day ended around 3:40 p.m. when he was shot in the upper hip by a suspect in a black four-door Audi. The car sped down Nebraska Street towards Broadway after several shots were fired from the car. According to Jocilee, the bullet passed through Pastrana’s stomach and did not hit any organs.
Pastrana’s wife and 4-year-old son witnessed the shooting.
“The family has to mentally deal with what happened,” said Jocilee, joined by her brother Randy on Friday. “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.
“Being someone who’s been through physical therapy before, I know it’s going to take years of therapy for Joe,” Jocilee continued. “It’s not fair. You’re supposed to go to school and feel safe and protected.
The Pastrana family told the Times-Herald they were seeking legal advice after the incident.
“My brother is a hard working person,” Jocilee told the gofundme page. “I saw him give up his last dollar and take food from his own family’s table to feed children he knew he couldn’t eat, as well as personally meet his players’ expenses so he could attend games. basketball tournaments and staying active in hopes of getting them off the streets.
“Coach Joe is a father, husband, son and brother as well as a member of our community and risked his life to protect these children involved in the fight,” Jocilee continued. “Justice needed to be served and, on behalf of my family, we ask for your support… On behalf of my family, we sincerely appreciate the prayers, love and support that have been shared.
Celina Baguiao, public information officer for the Vallejo City Unified School District, said the mood was “grim” on the Vallejo campus last week.
“Staff and students are still upset and worried about what happened this week, and rightly so,” Baguiao said. “However, on Wednesday about two-thirds of our student population showed up for school. I don’t know why the absences, but we assume it’s because of filming. I will add that on Wednesday all of our staff showed up for work, which says a lot about our team and this community. Faced with something horrible, they still showed up for work the next day.
“Many staff and students have benefited from our additional counselors on campus,” Baguiao continued. “We will continue to have advisers available to our staff and students as we all deal with events differently. Other than additional site security officers, admins and counselors, on campus and additional VPD patrols, we haven’t done anything different. We continue to check in with our colleagues and students and provide space for those who need it. In the days and weeks to come, we will debrief the incident and see if there are things we can do differently.
District Superintendent William Spalding and Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams answered questions at a press conference Tuesday evening. Williams said he had seen videos of the incident online but would not confirm or deny whether police released a plate number on the sedan.
As of Friday afternoon, the school district still did not confirm Pastrana as the shooting victim, only referring to him as a staff member.
“He’s a very brave member of staff who has potentially saved another child’s life or the lives of several people,” Williams said. “It’s a tragedy every time there’s a shooting near a school. This is a senseless act of violence committed by individuals who place no value on human life,” Williams said. “Enough is enough. It’s a sad day when someone gets shot in front of our kids at school where they should feel safe.
Vallejo police said the motive and circumstances of the shooting are still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vallejo Police Department Detective Division at (707) 648-4524.
When asked what could be done to prevent future incidents when the school already has a long metal gate at its entrance, Williams raised the possibility of possibly closing Nebraska Street between Broadway and Amador.
“Our hearts go out to our injured colleague, our Site Security Manager (Pastrana),” Spalding said. “There are indications that he will be on the mend and we are very grateful for that. They work hard and they do a good job and take it seriously. I just want to thank our staff who responded in the way we need him to respond. We’d like to think they wouldn’t have to respond to something like this, but they did and did so with the safety of the student in mind.
Pastrana, a 2009 Vallejo High graduate, is the all-time school record holder for most tackles in a season with 110.