Principal shot by former student at YES Prep charter’s southwest Houston campus, HPD says

The shooting was reported around 11:45 a.m. Friday, according to the Houston Police Department.


Houston-area law enforcement responded to an active shooter at a YES Prep charter school campus in southwest Houston on Oct. 1, 2021.

Updated 7:41 a.m. CT Oct. 4

A former YES Prep charter student armed with a rifle shot his way into the school’s southwest Houston campus and injured one staff member before surrendering to law enforcement Friday, police said. No students were injured.

Dexter Harold Kelsey, 25, shot through the locked front door of the school at 4411 Anderson Road and made his way in around 11:45 a.m. Friday, police said.

That’s when the alleged shooter encountered Eric Espinoza, the school’s principal, and shot him in the back, according to Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.

Espinoza was rushed to a hospital in the Texas Medical Center in serious condition, where he was treated and later released, according to reports.

Kelsey was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant and deadly conduct, according to court documents. His bond was set at $5.25 million.

Police responded in “minutes” and came upon the alleged shooter, who surrendered without incident, police said. SWAT teams were seen entering the building near 4400 Anderson Road at Hiram Clarke Road in search of anyone else possibly connected to the shooting, and quickly cleared the scene.

HPD set up a staging area for parents at West Fuqua Street and Hiram Clarke to pick up students, with officers on hand to assist.

HPD Chief Troy Finner held a media briefing after a 25-year old male entered YES Prep charter school campus in southwest Houston and shot a staff member on Oct. 1, 2021.

The shooting happened around lunchtime, according to 11th-grade student Guadalupe, who was in the cafeteria when the man broke in.

According to the student, the school’s principal ran into the cafeteria and quickly spoke with another staffer before instructing everyone in the room to leave. Many students, including Guadalupe, were ushered into a packed classroom, where their teacher locked the door and where everyone remained quietly.

Guadalupe then texted a cousin who also attended the school, and learned about the shooting.

“I was just waiting to get out,” Guadalupe said. “I was really shocked, surprised, because I never really thought that it would happen to our school.”

Lucio Vasquez

Lucio Vasquez

Newscast Producer

Lucio Vasquez is a newscast producer at Houston Public Media, NPR’s affiliate station in Houston, Texas. Over the last two years, he's covered a wide range of topics, from politics and immigration to culture and the arts. Lately, Lucio has focused his reporting primarily on public safety and criminal justice...

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