Pittsburg adult education principal in critical condition after shooting

Friends and family are in in shock after an East Bay educator was shot over the weekend and is currently in critical condition. Paul Shatswell, 45, is the principal of Pittsburg Unified School District’s Adult Education Program. He was listed on life support on Monday. 

Shatswell was shot at his home on Barrie Drive in Pittsburg early Saturday morning, police said.

Police arrested Shatswell's wife, Maria Vides, 39, on suspicion of attempted murder after the early-morning shooting that officers say followed a domestic dispute.

Shatwell is the father of eight children ranging in age from 5 to 29, according to the Pittsburg Unified School District. He previously served as a reserve deputy for the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office.

One of his son's, Jonathan, 26, wrote an email to KTVU on Monday, saying that his father had "such an impact on numerous people." He called his father a "God-fearing man [who] he felt it was important to instill the church and God in the family structure." He called what happened a "tragic accident" but the family will get through this, he said, and it has "only brought us all closer than ever before." 

Michael Bazinet said he is Shatswell's best friend of 41 years. Bazinet was supposed to have dinner with Shatswell and his wife Friday night but didn't.

Hours later, around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, police were called to Shatswell's home where they found him with one gunshot wound.

“I drove to the hospital as fast as I could only to find out it was more horrible than I imagined,” said Bazinet. 

Vides' Facebook profile shows photos of the couple. Bazinet said the two have been married for 15 years. He said he saw no obvious signs of marital trouble.

“We all have problems sometimes,” said Bazinet. “I wasn't there. I can only imagine. That's all I can do."

John Tiscareno lives across the street from the victim. He recalls hearing yelling from the home Saturday morning. Otherwise, he never saw them argue. 

“I’m still confused,” said Tiscareno. “I don't know what happened.”

People brought flowers and placed them in front of the home where the shooting occurred. 

“In my heart, I’m hoping it was an accident,” said Tiscareno. “I feel very bad for both of them. I’m thinking about (his) little boys right now.”

In a statement, Pittsburg's School Superintendent Janet Schulze said in part, “It is in times like these that we lean on each other and the strength of our community.”

Schulze said additional counselors will be on hand at the Pittsburg Adult Education Center on Monday, as well as at the schools his youngest children attend. Staff meetings to discuss the shooting will be held at the Adult Education Center at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday.

Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to contact police Detective Jacob Stage at (925) 252-6972.