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A fight at a high school in Arlington, Texas, led to an 18-year-old opening fire and injuring four people, one of them critically.
“Three of the four victims were hospitalized: a 15-year-old boy with gunshot wounds in critical condition, a 25-year-old man with gunshot wounds in good condition and a teenage girl with abrasions who has since been released,” ABC News reported.
The suspect in the Timberview High School shooting has since been identified as Timothy George Simpkins, a young black man whose parents claim his actions were the result of longtime bullying.
The shooting was reportedly preceded by the following fight showing an unidentified teen who’s presumed to be the 15-year-old victim pummeling another teen who’s presumed to be Simpkins:
At the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid🙏🏾🙏🏾 for Tim and the innocent bystanders
Posted by Cint Wheat on Wednesday, October 6, 2021
The Dallas Morning News has identified the Facebook user above, Cint Wheat, as Simpkins’ cousin.
Note what she wrote: “At the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid.”
Other members of Simpkins’ family have said the same.
“A woman who identified herself as Simpkins’ mother said he was bullied. But she declined to comment Wednesday afternoon outside Simpkins’ grandmother’s home in Arlington as law enforcement searched the residence,” the Morning News reported.
“Later in the evening, Carol Harrison Lafayette, who said she’s a family member speaking for the family, said at the house that Simpkins was robbed before the attack happened,” the Dallas outlet added.
“He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once; it happened twice. He was scared. He was afraid,” Lafayette reportedly said.
“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,” she added.
In a separate statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lafayette stressed that the family isn’t trying to justify the shooting.
“This is a situation where Timothy was being bullied. It had been reported to the principals right along with the teachers. I’m not trying to justify the gun that was brought, but when you’re being bullied, when there’s bullies, throughout this nation you hear of young people … committing suicide,” she said.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we’re not justifying that. 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,” she added.
Simpkin originally ran away from the crime scene, leading to the Arlington Police Department launching a search for him:
We are looking for a shooting suspect in today’s incident at @mansfieldisd Timberview School. Please call 911 if you know the whereabouts of 18-year old Timothy George Simpkins who may be driving a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger with license plate PFY-6260. pic.twitter.com/npaNVBDXRp
— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) October 6, 2021
He eventually turned himself in with his family attorney and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Lafayette stressed that Simpkins is an upstanding young man.
“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,” she said.
She added that Simpkins was specifically targeted because he has a nice car (reportedly a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger) and nice things.
A couple of questions still remain unanswered, including how exactly he’d managed to get the gun inside the school.
“Grand Prairie police recovered a .45-caliber handgun on England Parkway and federal authorities are seeking to determine whether it was used in the shooting,” according to the Morning News.
Meanwhile, a SWAT team executed a search warrant at his home. The Morning News reported that it’s in the Edgefield neighborhood, which it described as “a relatively new development with limestone and brick facades.”
Local real estate company Sandlin Homes notes that the neighborhood “features oversized lots” and homes that “range from 2,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. priced between $290s and $380s.”
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