HOUSTON — The man accused of shooting a principal at YES Prep Southwest Secondary School was scheduled to make a court appearance Monday.
Dexter Kelsey, 25, a former student at the school, is being held in the Harris County Jail on a total bond of $5,250,000 after being charged with aggravated assault of public servant and deadly conduct.
However, Kelsey did not appear in court as scheduled. His attorney has requested a mental health evaluation. According to court records, Kelsey will be due back in a Harris County district court in December.
On the two separate charges tied to the shooting at YES Prep Southwest Friday, there have been some new developments.
According to court documents, Eric Espinoza, the principal injured in Friday’s shooting, was not Kelsey’s intended target but rather another staff member he had been holding a grudge against since 2015.
Investigators said the former YES Prep student went to the school Friday and fired shots into the glass door of the building. He also reportedly fired a shot that grazed Espinoza.
Espinoza, who was released from the hospital Friday night, is expected to fully recover from his injury.
No one else was injured in the incident, but experts say it’s going to be a long road ahead for these students who are still processing the trauma.
"At times they will be hyper vigilant, meaning that maybe a noise, a 'bang' might startle them," Bill Prasad, KHOU 11’s mental health expert, said. "It's very difficult to watch a child suffer. But in these situations, you can't just make all those feelings go away."
Classes at YES Prep Southwest have been canceled through Wednesday. The CEO of Yes Prep, Mark DiBella, sent out a video message Sunday night on counseling resources available for students and families.
“We’re deeply shaken, but we’re also relieved that no lives were lost and we’re also incredibly grateful to Principal Eric Espinosa and the entire Southwest staff for their extraordinary and selfless acts of courage that protected students lives and protected each other,” said DiBella in the video that was posted to YouTube. “Students, you too showed remarkable courage during what I can only imagine was a terrifying day.”
In the minute-long video, Dibella continued to empathize with students.
“No one should ever have to endure what you endured. And that’s why counselors are available now. And I hope that you will talk to someone if you need to.”
Counselors will also be the Yes Prep Southwest campus on Thursday when classes resume.
"At times they will be hyper-vigilant, meaning that maybe a noise, a 'bang' might startle them," Bill Prasad, KHOU 11’s mental health expert, said. "It's very difficult to watch a child suffer. But in these situations, you can't just make all those feelings go away."