On Wednesday morning, a teenager opened fire at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, injuring four people, all of whom survived. The suspect, 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins, is now in custody and his family members are asking for the community’s forgiveness saying Simpkins was “bullied and robbed” prior to the shooting. While we often hear about the trials and tribulations of mass shooters typically, when they’re white—this situation wasn’t that.
NEW: A mugshot of #timberviewhighschool shooter Timothy George Simpkins was just released by @ArlingtonPD. Three people were taken to local hospitals. A 15-year old is critical. Simpkins fled the school but later turned himself in. More on @FOX4. MORE: https://t.co/JmDIYO3xDh pic.twitter.com/XpJbeJrbWC
— David Sentendrey (@DavidSFOX4) October 6, 2021
According to CNN, Arlington police said this shooting wasn’t a “random attack” and that a fight had broken out at the school before Simpkins, who is Black, started shooting. All four shooting victims are expected to recover from their wounds, although, “two will remain in the hospital,” and will “continue to make, hopefully, a speedy recovery,” police said.
Carol Harrison Lafayette, who said she’s a family member of Simpkins, acted as a spokesperson for the family and said the teen “was robbed” before the shooting occurred.
“It was recorded,” Lafayette said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid.”
“There is no justification of anybody…being hurt,” she added. “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.”
Donald Williams, the associate superintendent of communications for Mansfield ISD, said the district is conducting a full investigation into the shooting and what led up to it. When asked about the bullying aspect of the story, Williams responded, “What I will say to that is we take the safety and security of our students in our faculty and staff seriously.”
As for that investigation, Lafayette said the family only hopes it will be conducted fairly and that Simpkins also being a victim is taken into consideration.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that. That was not right,” she said, Newsweek reported. “But he was trying to protect himself. So we hope the police department does the investigation properly.”
Simpkins reportedly turned himself in after Arlington police had been searching for him following the shooting and he’s now charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the Morning News, he has been booked into Arlington jail and his bail was set at $75,000.