YES Prep Southwest Secondary student says principal saved them: 'He took a shot for us'

Saturday, October 2, 2021
YES Prep SW students say principal saved them during shooting
The man who students are hailing a hero in the YES Prep Southwest Secondary School shooting, is the only person who was injured. In the video above, hear from students who thank him for his heroic actions.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the seconds after a gunman shot through the entrance of YES Prep Southwest Secondary School campus, Principal Eric Espinoza was there.

"I really can say Mr. Espinoza is really brave for what he did. I really do thank him for trying to save us, because he really did save us. He actually took a shot for all of us and I really do thank that from him," said student Alondra Villafuerte, who spoke with ABC13 after fleeing the campus Friday afternoon

Houston police Chief Troy Finner said Espinoza was hit in the back by a bullet that grazed his body.

SEE ALSO: YES Prep Southwest shooting: Former student in custody after school principal was shot and wounded

"He sustained a gunshot wound to the back. My officers, I'm really proud to say administered first aid. HFD got him to the hospital," Finner said.

Espinoza was released from the hospital Friday evening and is recovering. According to Houston police, the bullet that struck Espinoza remains in his back as it did not impact any vital organs.

Meanwhile, Espinoza's father told ABC13, "we're just glad that he's doing okay."

Despite the chaos, there was a moment of calm and it was heard in a student's cell phone video. In the video, first responders could be heard telling students to "put your hands down, you're okay. I promise you, you're okay."

As staff helped to usher more than 1,000 students to safety, they are heard saying, "keep going. You can call your parents, keep going. You can call your parents if you have your cell phone."

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