The teenage gunman who opened fire at his Texas high school on Wednesday has been released from prison and recorded partying with close family and friends after his $75,000 bail was posted while two of his victims remain in the hospital.
Timothy George Simpkins was being held on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and not attempted murder charges, and was able to return home from Tarrant County Jail on Thursday afternoon after a bondsman met the bail terms, posting at least some of the $75,000.
Simpkins’ family has spoken out in defense of the young gunman who allegedly shot and wounded four people, calling him a “lovable” boy who wanted to be an engineer and seemed to claim that he is, in fact, the victim of bullying in this scenario, the Daily Mail reported.
The family believes that Simpkins’ nice possessions were the reason he was bullied. The 18-year-old has a $35,000 Dodge Challenger and reportedly wears expensive clothes like the $160 Off-White x Nike sneakers he is pictured wearing on social media.
Tonight the family of Timothy Simpkins talked to the media.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that, That was not right, but he was trying to protect himself. We hope the police department does the investigation properly.” @FOX4 pic.twitter.com/6diMxNRQSk
— Steven Dial (@StevenDialFox4) October 6, 2021
Simpkins allegedly opened fire at Timberview High School after getting into a fight with Zacchaeus Selby, 15, whom he shot seven to eight times in retaliation. He reportedly shot English teacher Calvin Pettit, 25, in the back, and grazed a teenage girl.
The alleged school shooter was photographed as he left jail wearing a light blue T-shirt, a dark blue backward cap, and jeans.
That evening, his family reportedly threw a celebratory bash in honor of his return while those injured in the shooting remained in the hospital.
Videos of the party posted to social media by Simpkins’ relatives show him holding a baby, standing in the kitchen, chatting with relatives, and taking photos smiling with his arms wrapped around three young women who look about the same age as Simpkins.
The sister of the English teacher Calvin Pettit who was injured in the shooting, tweeted in disbelief at Simpkin’s release: “How can this keep managing to get worse?”
The alleged shooter fled the school in his own car following the incident but later turned himself in to police. Simpkins was arraigned Thursday morning over a video call where he told the judge he understood the charges and planned to retain his own counsel.
Photos on social media reportedly show Simpkins in his car with what appears to be a black gun in the door compartment on the driver’s side. Police have revealed that the gun used in the shooting was black, but have not disclosed any further details.
Simpkins reportedly had no problem getting the weapon into Timberview High School because the school does not use metal detectors.
The teenager lives in a $400,000 home with his grandmother Lillie, who appears to have raised him after his father was beaten to death and his mother was in jail for much of his childhood, the DailyMail reported.
Simpkins’ family spoke to the media outside the grandmother’s home on Wednesday night, detailing the history of the bullying they allege he endured.
“He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid,” relative Carol Harrison Lafayette said.
“It could have been a decision that he could have committed suicide… he was trying to protect himself. They were blessed financially. He was able to get things that other teenagers cannot have, because he wore nice clothes, because he drove nice cars, he was like a target,” Lafayette continued.
‘There is no justification of anybody … being hurt. 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,” Lafayette concluded her remarks.
Pettitt’s sister Grace Rinearson spoke out about her brother’s condition, saying that he was expected to recover despite the bullet narrowly missing his aorta in what she described as “one of the scariest mornings of my life.”
“Feeling extremely blessed and thankful. Please hold you loved ones close, this is a crazy world we’re living in,” Rinearson wrote in a tweet.
The 15-year-old boy, Zacchaeus Selby, remains in the hospital in critical condition, but police are hopeful for his speedy recovery.
“At the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied. I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid,” Cint Wheat, Simpkins’ cousin, posted to Facebook.
“Right now they about to come up with what shoulda coulda been done when all the signs was ignored and the cries for help,” Wheat added.
The cousin went on to claim that her aunt reported instances of bullying to the school which did nothing to remediate the situation in the comments section of her post, according to the DailyMail.
Timberview High School has not responded to requests regarding reports of bullying the outlet reported.
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