The Texas student who allegedly opened fire at his high school and injured four people is home after making bail yesterday.
Timothy George Simpkins, 18, who attends Timberview High School in Arlington, was released to home confinement after posting a $75,000 bond at Tarrant County Jail, news station WFAA reported. As part of the conditions of his release, Simpkins will have to submit to drug and alcohol testing and wear a GPS monitoring device.
According to law enforcement officers, Simpkins opened fire on his fellow students on Oct. 6. His family told reporters the shooting was promoted by Simpkins being bullied and robbed at the school. They claimed the teen shot in self-defense.
Civil rights attorney Kim T. Cole, who spoke on behalf of the family, described the incident as a “standard-issue school shooting.”
“There are numerous school shootings that have occurred across this country which are tragic. All school shootings are tragic,” Cole told reporters. “However, in this situation, this was not someone who was just out to go and shoot a school and had made up their mind [and said,] ‘You know hey I’m upset and I’m just going to shoot anyone I see.’
“That was not the situation here. So I request the media correct their narrative with regard to what happened, and that you all respect the family’s privacy,” she continued.
A family spokeswoman has claimed that Simpkins was bullied and robbed because he comes from a more affluent family than his peers. The bullying was allegedly so bad that his family was worried it might drive Simpkins to commit suicide, The New York Post reported.
“He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid,” said Carol Harrison-Lafayette, who said she is a relative speaking for Simpkins’ family, in an interview with reporters.
“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,” Harrison-Lafayette said, adding that the bullying had been reported to teachers and principals.
“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,” she told reporters and described him as an “outgoing, loving person,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The Daily Mail reported that a cousin, Cint Wheat, posted on social media, “It could have been a decision that he could have committed suicide… he was trying to protect himself. They were blessed financially.”
Wheat wrote on Facebook, “at the end of the day my Lil cousin was bullied. I don’t know to feel about this; he not no bad kid.”
Video footage posted by Wheat shows Simpkins getting into an altercation during class with another student that escalated to gunfire, The New York Post reported. The fight was broken up, and the two students appeared to have calmed down, but then Simpkins pulled out a .45-caliber handgun from his backpack and fired several shots that struck three people, according to an arrest warrant.
Simpkins, who is Black, isn’t the typical mass school shooter. Between 1982 and May 2021, 66 out of the 124 mass shootings in the U.S. were carried out by white shooters. African Americans were the shooters in 21 mass shootings. When calculated as percentages, this amounts to 53 percent and 17 percent, respectively, according to Statista.
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Calvin Pettitt, a 25-year-old English teacher who jumped in to break up the fight, was shot in the back, suffering broken ribs and a collapsed lung, according to police and his family.
The other victims were identified as Zacchaeus Selby, Eyimofe Olawepo, and Pariesa Altima, according to a bond document obtained by Dallas News.
Police have said a 15-year-old boy is in critical condition, while a teenage girl who was grazed by a bullet has been discharged from the hospital.
The fourth victim, a pregnant woman, was injured in a fall during the shooting but received medical care on the scene, police said.
Simpkins was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.