The household of an Arlington, Texas, teenager suspected of injuring 4 folks in a college capturing mentioned he had been bullied and was lately robbed.
The suspect, Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of aggravated assault with a lethal weapon after he allegedly opened fireplace at Timberview Excessive College. He turned himself in to police following an hourslong manhunt after he fled the college. Simpkins was launched Thursday after posting bond.
A 15-year-old boy was critically injured within the capturing and brought to the hospital the place he underwent surgical procedure, and a 25-year-old man was hospitalized in good situation. It is unclear what their situations have been as of Thursday afternoon.
A teenage lady additionally suffered minor accidents and was handled and launched. A pregnant girl was handled on the faculty and was not taken to the hospital.
Arlington police mentioned the capturing might have begun with a classroom struggle however didn’t reveal a motive.
A witness advised investigators that Simpkins had gotten right into a bodily altercation with one other boy, in keeping with an arrest affidavit. The witness broke up the struggle and the second boy “in the end gave up and stopped being combative,” it states.
“When the witness rotated to verify on Simpkins, Simpkins had produced a firearm,” in keeping with the affidavit. “Upon seeing the firearm, this witness turned to expire of the classroom. The witness then heard three to 4 gunshots.”
A second witness mentioned a number of academics and coaches intervened within the struggle and after it was damaged up, Simpkins went into an orange backpack and pulled out a firearm. The witness advised authorities that she noticed Simpkins level the weapon on the individual he had been combating and fireplace a number of photographs.
One other witness mentioned in addition they noticed the struggle and was struck by a bullet, struggling a graze wound.
Cinthy Wheat, Simpkins’ cousin, mentioned he had been bullied and was robbed a couple of week in the past by a bunch of youngsters. She mentioned the theft didn’t happen on faculty property however mentioned Timberview was conscious of the bullying.
“He’s not a nasty child, he’s by no means been in bother,” she mentioned in a cellphone name on Thursday. “He was being bullied and was robbed.”
In line with Wheat, this was Simpkins’ first yr at Timberview. She mentioned he had all the time gone to non-public faculty and transferred to the general public highschool as a result of he needed to strive one thing completely different. When discussing the capturing, she mentioned she thinks Simpkins was “scared.”
“He didn’t have another choices, in his thoughts. … It’s a tragic scenario,” she mentioned. “Bullying must cease. You possibly can’t hold sweeping this beneath the rug.”
Throughout a information convention Wednesday, Simpkins’ household mentioned youngsters would take his cash and harass him.
“The choice he made taking the gun, we’re not justifying that. That was not proper,” a member of the family mentioned. “However he was making an attempt to guard himself.”
Timberview is within the Mansfield Impartial College District. Hope Boyd, a district spokeswoman, mentioned they may not focus on particular circumstances involving college students, however mentioned any report of bullying is “completely investigated and goes by way of the correct processes so as to assess and decide the suitable consequence.”
“An intensive investigation into yesterday’s incident remains to be ongoing, so particular particulars can’t be addressed right now,” Boyd mentioned. “What we are able to say is that the protection and safety of our college students and workers — each bodily and social-emotionally — has all the time been and can stay our primary precedence.”
Calls to police concerning the capturing got here in round 9:15 a.m. and prompted a lockdown of the college. A number of regulation enforcement companies responded, together with Arlington police and the Dallas Discipline Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
One mum or dad mentioned her son hid beneath his desk in a classroom when photographs rang out. Trainer Dale Topham mentioned he was throughout the corridor and described how college students instantly turned off the lights and comforted one another as they took cowl.
“The scholars dealt with it fairly effectively themselves,” he mentioned. “They hid. They huddled collectively.”
The highschool, positioned about 27 miles southwest of downtown Dallas, doesn’t have steel detectors. A district spokesperson mentioned at a information convention Wednesday afternoon that regulation enforcement officers are on each campus and the officer at Timberview responded “fairly swift” to the capturing.