Timberview High School shooter’s family say he was being ‘bullied’


The family of Arlington school gunman Timothy Simpkins say he lashed out on Wednesday after being relentlessly bullied and robbed by classmates who targeted him because he had a nice car and expensive clothes, and have shared videos of him involved in brawls in school to support their claims. 

Simpkins, 18, turned himself in on Wednesday at around 1pm after fleeing Timberview High School in Arlington where he fired a .45 caliber pistol during a brawl with other students that morning. 

He injured five people in the shooting, all of whom were hospitalized, including a 15-year-old who is in a ‘critical condition’. 

It’s unclear if any of those injured were involved in the bullying his family described. English teacher Calvin Pettitt, 25, was shot in the back and is in the hospital with a collapsed lung. 

Simpkins is being held on a $75,000 bond and is expected to be moved from Arlington Police Station to the Tarrant County Jail later today. Then, his arraignment will be scheduled. 

His family spoke out on Wednesday night to defend him, claiming he reacted angrily after being picked on for months. They said that while they didn’t condone the shooting, they were grateful he did not kill himself. 

Simpkins lives in a $400,000 home with his grandmother Lillie. He drives a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger, and his family described him as a ‘loveable’ kid. It’s unclear what his parents do for work or how involved they are in his life. 

On social media, his cousin Cint Wheat said he was ‘no bad kid’ and that he’d been picked on. She shared a video that police have confirmed of a fight inside the school, involving Simpkins, not long before the shooting, but it’s unconfirmed if the video was taken on Tuesday or Wednesday. It shows one teenage boy beating up another but neither boy’s face can be seen in the footage.  

‘He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid. 

‘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,’ Carol Harrison Lafayette, another relative, told reporters outside the family’s home on Wednesday night. 

 

Simpkins was being held at Arlington city jail on Wednesday night, ahead of his transfer to Tarrant County jail. He will appear before a judge after he has been transferred to the county jail

Timothy George Simpkins, 18, has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault for firing a .45 caliber gun during a fistfight at school on Wednesday morning, before fleeing in his Dodge Charger. He is pictured in his booking photo taken on Wednesday

Cint Wheat, the boy's cousin, shared the video on social media on Wednesday and said it was proof of how he was being bullied

Cint Wheat, the boy’s cousin, shared the video on social media on Wednesday and said it was proof of how he was being bullied

Simpkins' family. He lives with his grandmother Lillie (center) in a $400,000 home. Carol Harrison Lafayette (second from right, speaking) is a relative and family spokesperson. She told reporters outside the family home that Simpkins was being relentlessly bullied and that while they were 'sorry' for the people he hurt, they are grateful he didn't kill himself after being picked on by bullies

Simpkins’ family. He lives with his grandmother Lillie (center) in a $400,000 home. Carol Harrison Lafayette (second from right, speaking) is a relative and family spokesperson. She told reporters outside the family home that Simpkins was being relentlessly bullied and that while they were ‘sorry’ for the people he hurt, they are grateful he didn’t kill himself after being picked on by bullies 

A view of the 600 block of Harris Ridge Drive on Wednesday, where Simpkins lived with his grandmother. The family said on Wednesday night that he was targeted by bullies because he had nice clothes and cars

A view of the 600 block of Harris Ridge Drive on Wednesday, where Simpkins lived with his grandmother. The family said on Wednesday night that he was targeted by bullies because he had nice clothes and cars

Simpkins was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon at 1:15pm. His grandmother's house in the Edgefield district, in southeast Arlington, was searched by a SWAT team an hour later

Simpkins was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon at 1:15pm. His grandmother’s house in the Edgefield district, in southeast Arlington, was searched by a SWAT team an hour later

Calvin Pettitt, a 25-year-old English teacher at Timberview High School, was shot and wounded on Wednesday morning

Calvin Pettitt, a 25-year-old English teacher at Timberview High School, was shot and wounded on Wednesday morning

‘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.’ 

A woman who identified herself as his mother told the Dallas Morning News, outside the grandmother’s house, that he was bullied, but would not say any more.

She did not give her name. 

Cint Wheat, his cousin, wrote in a Facebook post: ‘At the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied. 

‘I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid.’ 

She later claimed in the comments section of her post that her aunt went to the school to report the bullying but that nothing was done. 

‘Right now they about to come up with what shoulda coulda been done when all the signs was ignored and the cries for help,’ she said. 

Timberview High School did not immediately respond to inquiries on Thursday morning about whether or not the bullying was ever reported.  

Many are questioning why the high school had no metal detectors to prevent students from bringing in firearms, but it is not common practice for school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to use metal detectors.  

Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas (above) was placed on lockdown on Wednesday morning following reports of an active shooter

Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas (above) was placed on lockdown on Wednesday morning following reports of an active shooter

Local news stations broadcast images filmed by helicopter news teams that show fire trucks in the parking lot where students and faculty staff were gathering

Local news stations broadcast images filmed by helicopter news teams that show fire trucks in the parking lot where students and faculty staff were gathering

A law enforcement officer walks in the parking lot of Timberview Hight School after a shooting inside the school

A law enforcement officer walks in the parking lot of Timberview Hight School after a shooting inside the school

Mom I’m scared’: Heartbreaking texts terrified student sent to his mom as gunman opened fire at his Texas school 

Text messages shared by one parent with CBS reporter Jason Allen revealed the terror that students experienced on Monday.

The high schooler texted his mother saying: ‘Mom I’m scared.’

She told her son that she was going to call the police. 

It comes as police revealed that social media threats directed at various local schools diverted police responding to the shooting at Timberview. 

Kevin Kolbye, Arlington assistant police chief, said officers were checking out comments on various platforms which indicated there may have been other threats at nearby schools. 

These were flagged just after the first reports of the shooting at Timberview came in, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Kolbye said charges could still be pressed against those making the threats.

‘I want the message to be out there that this is not something to continue. We will investigate you,’ Kolbye said. 

‘The federal government partners will also be able to investigate you if you’re not living in our city and will bring you to a successful prosecution. ‘ 

Grand Prairie police Chief Daniel Scesney said that officers were dispatched to each location, while others were searching for the suspect in the Timberview shooting.

‘It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid. 

‘It wasn’t just one person that would attack him and bully him, taking his money.’

Lafayette said he took the gun to try to protect himself, adding that she wanted police to look into all aspects of the incident.

‘Because he wore nice clothes and because he drove nice cars, because he had the things, he was like a target,’ she said. 

‘He was looking forward to graduating and doing something with his life.

‘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.’

Simpkins was being held at Arlington city jail on Wednesday night, ahead of his transfer to Tarrant County jail. He will appear before a judge after he has been transferred to the county jail. 

The principal of Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, announced there would be no classes on Thursday following the shooting on Wednesday morning. 

‘It has been a devastating day,’ said Derrell Douglas in a letter sent to parents.

‘Today’s shooting has been traumatic. We are so grateful there were no fatalities, and reports indicate that those injured are expected to recover. 

A large group of people as well as several police officers are seen outside the family reunification center on Wednesday

A large group of people as well as several police officers are seen outside the family reunification center on Wednesday

Social media threats diverted police responding to Arlington school shooting, officers reveal 

Social media threats directed at various schools diverted police responding to the Arlington school shooting, officers have revealed.

Kevin Kolbye, Arlington assistant police chief, said officers were checking out comments on various platforms which indicated there may have been threats at nearby schools. 

These were flagged just after the first reports of the shooting at Timberview came in, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Kolbye said charges could still be pressed against those making the threats.

‘I want the message to be out there that this is not something to continue. We will investigate you,’ Kolbye said. ‘The federal government partners will also be able to investigate you if you’re not living in our city and will bring you to a successful prosecution. ‘  

Grand Prairie police Chief Daniel Scesney said that officers were dispatched to each location, while others were searching for the suspect in the Timberview shooting. 

‘It is so important that the Timberview High School community have time to heal, and so, there will be no school for Timberview High School on Thursday, Oct. 7.’

Douglas said that several counseling centers had been made available to students and staff.

Police were called at 9:15am on Wednesday to reports of a shooting.

Kolbye said that a fight broke out on the second flood of the school, which escalated into one of the students bringing out a gun.

Video circulating on social media showed two students wrestling on the floor, but police said they were unsure on Wednesday night if the clip was from the incident.

English teacher Petitt’s sister, Grace Rinearson, said the bullet narrowly missed his aorta and described the shooting as ‘one of the scariest mornings of my life.’

She added in a tweet: ‘Feeling extremely blessed and thankful. Please hold you loved ones close, this is a crazy world we’re living in.’

Another victim, an adult male, is not in surgery but is in a ‘good position.’ 

A third victim, a teenage girl, was expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday evening. 

‘So two will remain in the hospital, which continue to make hopefully a speedy recovery,’ police said. 

A fourth victim suffered minor injuries and was not taken to hospital. 

Simpkins fled in a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger. The vehicle was found at an apartment complex in Grand Prairie.

The school was on lockdown until 11am, and all 1,700 students were evacuated and reunited with their families.

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