Timothy George Simpkins, an eighteen-year-old student at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after injuring four people by firing a .45-caliber handgun during a fight with another student.
Arlington Police said that a 15-year-old boy remained in critical condition after being shot. Other reported victims were a 25-year-old man who was also shot but was now in good condition, along with a teenage girl who was not struck by gunfire. A pregnant teacher was injured after she fell during the incident, but was not hospitalized.
Family members of the suspect say that while there was no justification for anyone being hurt, Simpkins’ decision to bring a gun to school was not unwarranted as he was bullied.
Cint Wheat, Simpkins’ cousin, wrote on Facebook saying: “At the end of the day my Lil cousin was bullied. I don’t know to feel about this he’s no bad kid.”
“He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid,” Carol Harrison-Lafayette said, who introduced herself as a spokesperson for the family. “There is no justification of anybody … being hurt.
[But] we have to take a look at the fact that bullying is real. And it takes us all. And I do apologize. We ask as a family for the forgiveness of any type of hurt.”
Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that the shooting stemmed from a fight that broke out in a classroom. People have since linked two videos shared on social media of a fight in a classroom to the shooting, which police spokesman Tim Ciesco confirmed.
“They are being looked at as part of the investigation,” he said.
The Arlington shooting happened just days after a shooting at a Houston charter school. According to ABC News, Texas’ deadliest school shooting occurred in May 2018 when a 17-year-old armed with a shotgun and a pistol opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston, killing 10 people, most of whom were students.
When asked about bullying allegations by some parents, the school spokesman Donald Williams said the Mansfield district is also conducting a full investigation.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is currently investigating how the suspect got a gun. A comment on Arlington Police’s Facebook post about the incident said “Great job officers.
No matter who was being bullied, this 18-year-old should have never had a gun in his possession. Where’re the parents and why so many weapons in the home?”