Bond set at more than $5 million for former student accused of shooting principal at YES Prep
HOUSTON - The man accused of shooting a principal at YES Prep Southwest Secondary had his bail set for more than $5 million.
Officials say Dexter Kelsey, 25, shot through the glass door in the front of the school building, located in southwest Houston midday Friday. From there, he was able to get into the school and opened fire. Police say Kelsey is a former student of the school and confessed to his role in the shooting.
BACKGROUND: Former student arrested, principal hospitalized following active shooting at SW Houston school
The school's principal, Eric Espinoza, was shot in the back and rushed to the hospital in serious condition. However, officials say Espinoza was released from the hospital the same day, and while the bullet remains in his back it didn't impact any vital organs. No other staff members and no students were injured.
It's still unclear what the motive was, but officials say he entered the school with the intention of shooting a staff member due to a grudge stemming from 2015.
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During a court trial held Saturday, where Kelsey did not appear due to medical reasons, he was charged with aggravated assault of a public servant and discharge of a firearm toward a habitation. Bail for the former charge has been set at $5 million and $250,000.
Under his bail conditions, Kelsey is to not have any contact with the victims, with YES prep Schools, be subject to 24-hour house arrest, GPS monitoring, travel restricted to Harris Co. and surrounding areas.
Currently, the 25-year-old does not have a public defender and was said by court officials to be an "extreme danger" to the community.
Gaby Diaz is a fellow Houston teacher who’s survived other school shootings and became a volunteer with Moms Demand Action, an organization that advocates for gun violence prevention.
"It never gets old for educators," she said. "It's always fresh and it always reminds you of the climate that we're in."
As a mother to two young kids, Diaz worries not enough is being done to keep them safe in school.
"Every day I have to drop off my daughter, I say bye to her in a different way than I think my mom said bye to me every day," she said. "And that's cruel. We're not doing enough.
"I spent 16 years practicing lockdown drills with students," Diaz continued. "We know, I mean we have the research to show that these lockdown rules are not good for the mental health of anyone involved, but I think they're an easy answer for legislators that aren't willing to have the courage to make the tough decisions that we need to make."
In light of the shooting, YES Prep Southwest Secondary School will be canceling classes until Wednesday.
School officials say they will meet with students and families before returning to campus. Counselors are also available for those who need them.