The motivations of the alleged attacker in Wednesday’s Arlington school shooting remain unknown, but he apparently acted after a fight, and family members said he had been bullied.
Police arrested Timothy George Simpkins, 18, in the morning shooting at Timberview High School in the Mansfield Independent School District.
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.
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.”
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.
“He was robbed,” she said. “It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid.”
“There is no justification of anybody … being hurt,” she said, adding, “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.”
When asked at a news conference about bullying concerns some parents have voiced, Donald Williams, Mansfield ISD’s associate superintendent of communications, said that the district is conducting a full investigation of the shooting and its cause.
“What I will say to that is we take the safety and security of our students in our faculty and staff seriously,” he said.
Four people were injured — including a 15-year-old boy who was critically wounded, during the morning shooting. Simpkins was taken into custody hours later after surrendering with the help of an attorney.
Here’s what we know about Simpkins and the shooting so far:
- He is an 18-year-old student at Timberview High School in Arlington.
- A fight reportedly broke out in a second-story classroom at the school, followed by the shooting. The suspect fled the scene after the shooting.
- Police began to look for the car Simpkins drives, a 2018 silver Dodge Charger. The vehicle was found at an apartment complex in Grand Prairie.
- Simpkins turned himself into authorities at about 1:15 p.m., and with an attorney, was speaking to detectives.
- Police said they would seek three charges of aggravated assault against Simpkins. He was booked into the Arlington jail just before 2 p.m., and his bail was set at $75,000.
- A social media video circulating appears to show someone who looks like Simpkins in a fight at the school, but police said they can’t verify that it is from the school yet.
- Police don’t know how the shooter got a gun into 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.
- About 2:30 p.m., a SWAT team executed a search warrant at the home where he lives with his grandmother. The Edgefield neighborhood is a relatively new development with limestone and brick facades.
- Simpkins’ social media accounts appear to have been active early Wednesday but the accounts are no longer available.
Lafayette said Simpkins is an outgoing, well-liked, loving person. “He was looking forward to graduating and doing something with his life,” she said.
Researchers Erin Sood, Naomi Kaskela and Ana Niño contributed to this story.
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