A Texas teenager who allegedly shot a classmate and a teacher on Wednesday was freed on bail Thursday as his family members tried to paint the suspected shooter, Timothy Simpkins, as the victim of bullying.
In the shooting, which followed a fight, Simpkins, 18, has been accused of wounding a 15-year-old boy multiple times at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News. Teacher Calvin Pettitt was injured when he was shot in the back while trying to break up the fight.
Two other people were injured in the incident. One student was grazed on the arm by a bullet, and a teacher fell in the confusion of the fight and its aftermath.
Cint Wheat, a cousin of Simpkins, posted on Facebook that “At the end of the day my lil cousin was bullied I don’t know to feel about this he not no bad kid.”
Carol Harrison Lafayette, who identified herself as a family member and said she would speak for the family, said Simpkins had been robbed at the school in the past, according to the Morning News.
“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.
Bullying is not acceptable, PERIOD! Selby was way bigger than Simpkins and he took advantage of it.
‘He Is The Victim’: Family of Student Injured in Timberview High School Shooting https://t.co/ldWxJHcPYV
— ReinaR123 (@R123Reina) October 8, 2021
Is bullying an excuse to shoot someone?
“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 lives in a $400,000 home with his grandmother and drives a $35,000 Dodge Challenger, according to the Daily Mail.
“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 told the outlet.
Simpkins had been held by police on a $75,000 bond on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but Thursday, the bond was posted, and he left Tarrant County Jail, the Daily Mail reported.
Timothy Simpkins released on bail less than one day after his school shooting.
Four people were hurt in the shooting including two teachers and two students. One 15-year-old boy was critically injured.
— Tomas Morales 🇺🇸 (@TomasMorales_iv) October 7, 2021
One Twitter poster who said her brother was a victim was outraged that Simpkins was freed.
how does this keep managing to get worse https://t.co/OuyGQxa9cM
— rhino (@g_grae) October 7, 2021
The Daily Mail reported that Pettitt was still hospitalized with a wound that narrowly missed his aorta, and the 15-year-old Simpkins allegedly was fighting with was in critical condition.
This is how the Shooting started, a fight broke out and Timothy George Simpkins Started shooting. He is currently missing, Arlington Police say he may be driving a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger LP: PYF6260 pic.twitter.com/p9lvR8tJo6
— FortWorthTX TV (@FortWorthTXTV) October 6, 2021
A police report outlines what allegedly took place, according to the Daily Mail: “Multiple teachers and coaches were working to break up the altercation between Simpkins and the juvenile victim. Once the fight was broken up, the juvenile witness observed Simpkins go to an orange backpack and retrieve a black firearm.
“The witness observed Simpkins point the firearm at the juvenile victim and sees Simpkins shoot, from her account, seven to eight times. The witness then observed the juvenile victim fall to the ground.’