A fight video that was allegedly taken before the Timberview shooting is making the rounds on Twitter. Family members of the shooter, Timothy George Simpkins, say he was the victim of extreme bullying. It is believed that the fight preceded the shooting.
Simpkins’ family told reporters that the 18-year-old student was robbed twice at school and that classmates made fun of him for wearing nice clothes and driving a nice car. They claim that the 18-year-old only brought the gun to school to defend himself.
Cint Wheat, a cousin of the shooter, wrote on Facebook that “at the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied. I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
Donald Williams, a spokesperson for the Mansfield School District said that a full investigation into the bullying and robbery allegations will take place. Williams added that the school cares most about the well-being and safety of their students and staff.
Timothy George Simpkins’ family is asking for forgiveness following the deadly shooting. Carol Harrison-Lafayette, a spokesperson for the family, said: “He’s been around his grandmother, his loving mother, they taught him to love, and he was a giver … mostly well liked up until the point where he got into his senior year. … He was looking forward to graduating and doing something with his life.”
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we’re not justifying that,” Harrison-Lafayette continued. “That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself. And so we hope that the police department does the investigation properly. There are going to be independent investigations that are going to be done as well so we can get to the bottom of really what happened.”
Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said that his department is aware of the fight videos on Twitter and are taking them into account when it comes to their investigation of the Timberview shooting. He also told the media that he is “not 100% sure” that the video was taken Wednesday before the shooting.
“I can confirm that we are aware of both videos and we believe they show the fight that took place this morning prior to the shooting,” police spokesman Tim Ciesco said, according to the station. “They are being looked at as part of the investigation.”
The Timberview shooting took place on Wednesday morning, and the high school was immediately put into lockdown. Timothy Simpkins reportedly opened fire on the second floor at around 9:15 a.m. According to police, the young student was involved in a fight before he opened fire. He was using a .45 caliber handgun. Four people were injured, including one teacher, and three victims were taken to the hospital.
A 15-year-old student remains in critical condition at the hospital following the shooting. Two other victims are expected to be okay, one of them is in good condition and police believe that the third victim will be able to go home soon.
A pregnant teacher who fell during the Timberview shooting was injured but treated at the scene and was not taken to the hospital.
Timothy George Simpkins fled the scene following the shooting and police considered him “armed and dangerous.” After the shooting, Arlington SWAT searched the Simpkins’ home looking for the 18-year-old. He apparently drove away from the school in a 2018 silver Dodge Charger.
While they were looking for Simpkins, police told the media that they were also dealing with fake shooting threats from other campuses.
Simpkins turned himself in Wednesday afternoon and will face three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The student is being held on a $75,000 bond.