Family of Texas school shooting suspect Timothy Simpkins says he was bullied

Four people were injured during the incident before Simpkins fled.

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The teenager accused of a shooting at an Arlington, Texas high school this week chose violence after being bullied, family members said.

Police identified 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins as the suspect who opened fire at Timberview High School on Oct. 6. Four people were injured during the incident before Simpkins fled, and the school was placed on lockdown.

Carol Harrison Lafayette, a family member, spoke to reporters outside Simpkins’ grandmother’s house, The Dallas Morning News reports.

“He was robbed,” she said. “It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid.”

The shooting occurred during a fight, Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said in a news conference. Three people who were injured were taken to a hospital and a pregnant teacher was reportedly treated at the scene. One of the victims, a 15-year-old student, remains in the ICU; a teacher, Calvin Pettit, 25, is in good condition. Each of the injured are expected to recover.

“There is no justification of anybody … being hurt,” she said, adding, “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 forgiveness of any type of hurt.”

The official Twitter page for Arlington Police confirmed that Simpkins was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon. His bond was set at $75,000. 

“The suspect has been taken into custody without incident and charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault with a gun. Most students have been safely evacuated from Timberview High School. Thank you for everyone’s help,” the post reads.

The district is reportedly conducting a full investigation of the shooting and the bullying allegations. 

“There’s a video that’s all out on social media and it shows that he was being attacked,” said Lafayette. “It wasn’t just one person that would attack him and bully him, taking his money, harassing him due to the fact that he had more things than maybe others.”

The Mansfield Independent School District canceled classes Thursday for students at Timberview High School and the Early College High School. Students, staff, and families have access to counseling services. 

“It has been a devastating day,” the school district said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are so grateful there were no fatalities, and reports indicate that those injured are expected to recover.”

Simpkins was released from the Tarrant County Jail after posting bond on Thursday. He faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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