Former YES Prep Southwest student faces multiple charges after school shooting

Classes at YES Prep canceled Monday through Wednesday

Dexter Kelsey was identified by family members as the accused gunman involved in Friday’s shooting.

The 25-year-old former YES Prep Southwest student who authorities say opened fired near the school’s entrance is now facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault.

Dexter Kelsey was identified by family members as the accused gunman involved in Friday’s shooting.

Charges filed for Kelsey include aggravated assault and deadly conduct using a firearm that injured Espinoza, the school principal for YES Prep Southwest, according to documents. The bond for Kelsey is set for $500,000.

Kelsey is set to appear in court on Monday.

Latest mugshot of Dexter Kelsey, charged with aggravated assault during Friday's school shooting at YES Prep Southwest. (Houston Police Department)

“I couldn’t believe it was him,” said Doris Kelsey, Dexter’s adoptive mother.

Doris said Dexter used to live just a few blocks from the southwest campus and had graduated from the school. She said her son had some mental health issues and she doesn’t believe he was in his right mind.

“I apologize to the school community because I didn’t know Dexter was in this state of mind that he was in,” the mother said. “I didn’t know he had the issues that he was going through and I apologize to everybody and I hope they accept my apology.”

Dexter is accused of injuring a principal during the shooting at the school located in southwest Houston Friday.

The principal of the school was injured when Kelsey opened fire near the campus entrance, YES Prep Southwest Secondary said in a statement. No students were injured.

In a statement, school administrators identified the shooting victim as Eric Espinoza.

“Principal (Espinoza) was taken to the hospital after a bullet grazed him from behind, and he is expected to be released today,” the statement reads.

Espinoza has served as YES Prep Southwest Secondary’s principal for five years. Before his tenure as principal, Espinoza taught Spanish I and II and served as a Grade Level Chair. Espinoza himself graduated from Yes Prep Southeast Secondary in 2003.

The school also announced it was canceling classes Monday through Wednesday of next week.

At about 11:45 a.m., Houston police were dispatched to YES Prep Southwest Secondary, located at 4411 Anderson Road, in response to a report of a shooting in progress.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene within minutes. Once inside, officers located the gunman, who was armed with a rifle. The man surrendered without incident, Houston Police Chief Finner said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner shared an update after a school shooting on Oct. 1, 2021.

Though Finner did not name the suspect, he said the man, 25, had once attended the school. Family members later identified the man as 25-year-old Dexter.

According to authorities, Dexter gained entry into the school by shooting through a glass door at the entrance. Once inside, he immediately fired at a school employee, striking the victim in the back, Finner said.

Officers administered first aid until paramedics arrived and transported Espinoza to a hospital in the Texas Medical Center. The principal sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was released late Friday.

“I’m really proud of the quick response of the officers,” Finner said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

There were around 1,000 students in the school when the shooting occurred, Finner said.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Houston Police Department.