Family and friends of a former Pembroke teacher are hopeful Dennis Spencer, 58, will recover from his injuries after he was caught in the middle of a shootout and wild carjacking in Honduras.

Although Spencer is still in a medically-induced coma, those who know him say his condition is improving after he was shot in the upper body, leaving bone fragments in his brain on Friday night.

Before moving south, Spencer spent several years teaching at Bishop Smith Catholic High School in Pembroke, where he encouraged students to open themselves to the possibility of experiencing life through travel.

After retiring from the Pembroke high school, he moved to Mexico where he spent two years teaching. He now lives in Honduras, where he's been principal of the English-language school Escuela Internacional La Lima for the past four years.

Doctors are expected to bring Spencer out of his medically-induced coma on Wednesday.