At YES Prep Southwest Secondary School in Houston, someone caught a terrifying, but uniquely American, moment — children evacuating school after a shooting — on TikTok last week.
The original TikToker for this video appears to have deactivated their account. The repost currently has over 5 million likes. The TikTok shows students filing out of the school building past a shattered glass door, with armed law enforcement officers in fatigues lining the doorway. A popular TikTok audio, a mashup of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” and Post Malone’s “Congratulations,” plays in the background. Other viral TikToks show students evacuating the building with hands raised in the air.
“It was scary because two days ago we practiced a drill like this, like what we would do if something happened like this,” a student told local news affiliate KHOU11. “For it to happen now, school is not safe for anybody anymore.”
The shooting happened on October 1. According to the Houston police department, former YES Prep student Dexter Harold Kelsey, 25, fired shots from a rifle at the school’s entrance in order to gain access and Principal Eric Espinoza was shot in the back. Espinoza was taken to the hospital, underwent surgery, and was later released to recover at home.
Kelsey allegedly entered the school, looking for a teacher he had a grudge against (not Espinoza) from his time at YES Prep, according to court documents, and opened fire, shattering the school’s glass doors. Those doors can be seen in the viral TikTok. Prosecutors say Kelsey purchased the rifle online. Espinoza was shot while trying to alert students and teachers about a gunman, according to a local ABC affiliate.
Kelsey confessed to the shooting and told law enforcement he was hearing voices, a law enforcement source told KHOU11. As of October 3, the most recent reported update as of this writing, Kelsey is still in the Harris County Jail. He did not attend a court hearing two days later, due to a medical condition. Kelsey was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant and deadly conduct.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue