Armed officers guarding classroom doors as frightened students walk past them with their hands held in the air and blood splattered across the floor. These are some of the harrowing scenes captured in a video showing the aftermath of a school shooting in Houston, Texas last week. The video posted to TikTok had attracted seven million views and thousands of comments questioning gun laws in the United States that people said had made such incidents so common. "This turned so common, you don't even see it in the news anymore," commented one user.
Former student Dexter Harold Kelsey, 25, has been charged with aggravated assault against a public servant and deadly conduct following a shooting on October 1 at YES Prep in Houston that left Principal Eric Espinoza injured.
The Houston Police Department (HPD) says Kelsey had been armed with a rifle and gained entry to the building by shooting a glass door, before opening fire at Espinoza.
Espinoza reportedly tried to warn others and help students when he was shot, according to Newsweek. Kelsey was searching for a female staff member who he had been holding a grudge against since 2015, TV station KHOU quoted court officials as saying.
2021 has seen the highest number of school shootings since 1970, with Texas accounting for the third highest number of mass shootings per US state between 1982 and May 2021, according to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security and magazine Mother Jones.
YES Prep has called off classes till Wednesday. "We had an incredibly frightening day and are immensely grateful there were no life-threatening injuries after a 25-year-old former YES Prep Southwest student shot through a window in the front entry of that campus, the school said in social media post. It said Eric Espinoza was taken to the hospital after a bullet grazed him from behind.
The school has also shared resources for students to enable them to discuss their feelings about the shooting.