East Bay father and principal on life support after 'domestic altercation'

PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- An East Bay father and school principal was shot over the weekend and is in critical condition at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

"This is a huge loss to our community. Paul was just involved in so many good things. I love that man," said Michael Bazinet, who has been best friends with Paul Shatswell since they were boys, growing up in Pittsburg.

Shatswell, a father of 8 in his mid-40s, is on life support after police say his wife, Maria Vides, shot him around 1 a.m. Saturday during a "domestic altercation" at their home in Pittsburg.

Bazinet says he and his wife were supposed to go on a double date with Shatswell and Vides to a Pittsburg restaurant Friday night, but Bazinet canceled. "I was supposed to go out with them that night, but my wife didn't feel good... so they decided to go out on their own."

Bazinet came by Shatswell's house on Barrie Drive Saturday morning to see his friend and instead found a crime scene. He says Shatswell was shot once in the head. "He's a constant reminder of how I could do better. I wish I could have been there for him."

Shatswell's children range in age from 5 to 29-years-old. Bazinet says Maria is the mother of his three youngest, who are all boys.

John Tiscareno lives across the street from the Shatswells, who he describes as, "your typical happy family." He never suspected anything was wrong between his friends and neighbors. "They didn't seem the type to be having problems. You never see the police here, never argued, always happy with each other. He's always told me how much he loves her and you could see how much they love each other."

Shatswell is the principal at Pittsburg's Adult Education Center. The Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent, Janet Schulze, posted a statement on the District's Facebook page, which says in part: "along with the shock and grief, there will be many memories of his love of music, friends, family, Pittsburg, and his passion for education."

Vides, 39, was booked into county jail for attempted murder. Pittsburg Police say she used a handgun to shoot her husband, which was recovered at the home.

Paul's son, Jonathan Shatswell, has issued the following statement:
"My dad Paul had such a big impact on numerous people around the community, family and friends, students and strangers. He loved the town he grew up in and remained living local to be as close to his family as possible to guide his family, especially the 8 children he had the oldest son being 29 years of age and the youngest son 6-years-old almost all had been in Pittsburg since birth and attended schools in the PUSD, the place where he recently became the principal of the Pittsburg Adult ED. Having a Masters in business from Saint Mary's College in California and multiple teaching credentials and degrees and accomplishments, he felt most at home working with the young adults in Pittsburg's community to help shape their future as best he could.

The family has a long history in Pittsburg. Great grandparents Betty and Paul Rizzuto "The Owl" he was known around as in the Pittsburg historical museum lived and starting their lives early on residing in the community owning many properties and known for a family custom auto body shop near lifelong family friends Frank Derosas Autobody shop in downtown Pittsburg and never left until their passing a couple of years back aside from the fact from a brief family history in the community.

Paul loved Disneyland and that was his favorite place to be and bring his kids for fond memories of when he was a very young child. Paul had many hobbies and talents his favorite being playing music and singing at a young age. He fell in love and had aspirations of being a professional musician although God had other plans for his future and career path he started a band with a group of friends even going as far as winning the Bay Area Battle of the Bands in the early 2000s, earning a trip to play live in Mexico at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo Cantina, known for many musicians and rock bands.

He started in his early teens most of his musicianship singing and playing in an old local church in Pittsburg radiant life ministries he was a very spiritual and God-fearing man and felt it was important to instill the church and God in the family structure. He did math and calculus for fun and love to work with his hands in his spare time remodeling and doing handyman work with his sons playing video games with them and watching movies.

This has been a tragic incident for the whole family and impacting friends and relatives, but there is such a strong support and such a big family and so many friends that are family that make a tough time like this just a bit easier and we are all here for Paul as a whole and going to get through this which has only brought us all closer than ever before and so grateful for all our loved ones."
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