Chris Lange, FISM News
Family members of the teen charged in an Oct. 6 shooting at a Texas high school say he has been a victim of bullying and repeated robbery attempts.
Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was released from Tarrant County Jail on Thursday after posting a $75,000 bond. He faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly firing a gun into a Timberview High School classroom in Arlington Wednesday, injuring two students – one critically – and two adults. Following a four-hour search by police, Simpkins turned himself into authorities without incident. The shooting allegedly began as an argument between Simpkins and a 15-year-old boy.
We are looking for a shooting suspect in today’s incident at @mansfieldisd Timberview School. Please call 911 if you know the whereabouts of 18-year old Timothy George Simpkins who may be driving a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger with license plate PFY-6260. pic.twitter.com/npaNVBDXRp
— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) October 6, 2021
Following his arrest, Simpkins’ cousin, Cint Wheat, took to social media, saying that the teenager has been a victim of bullying and that he isn’t a “bad kid” in a Facebook post.
Another family spokesperson said Simpkins was trying to defend himself against students who repeatedly attacked and tried to steal from him, according to a Dallas Morning News story. Following Simpkins’ arrest, Carol Harrison Lafayette, who identified herself as a family member, spoke to reporters outside of Simpkin’s home Wednesday night.
“He was scared; he was afraid,” she said, alleging that Simpkins had been attacked by classmates “because he wore nice clothes and because he drove nice cars.” She added, “He was looking forward to graduating and doing something with his life.”
According to a Fox News report, the family of 15-year-old shooting victim Zacchaeus Selby was “shocked” to see a video circulating on social media that appears to show Simpkins’ and Selby fighting, saying that Selby is a “mild-mannered, soft-spoken child.” Selby is listed in critical condition and is currently in an induced coma. His grandmother reports that his condition has improved and that the family feels “optimistic” about his eventual recovery.