Jennifer Smith, Daily Mail, October 7, 2021
The teenage gunman who opened fire in an Arlington, Texas, school on Wednesday celebrated at home after being released on a $75,000 bond while his victims, a 15-year-old boy and a 25-year-old teacher, remained in the hospital, one of them clinging to life.
Timothy George Simpkins was being held on a $75,000 bond on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon but the 18-year-old walked out of Tarrant County Jail on Thursday afternoon. A bondsman met the bail terms on Thursday, posting at least some of the full amount, and he walked free.
On Wednesday, he pulled a gun from his backpack and shot a 15-year-old boy ‘seven or eight times’, shot teacher Calvin Pettitt in the back and grazed a teenage girl before going on the run from Timberview High School. He was angry about a fight that had just happened where the 15-year-old boy repeatedly punched him.
Simpkins said nothing as he strode out of the jail on Thursday in a blue t-shirt, matching baseball cap worn backwards, and jeans. It’s unclear why he has been charged with aggravated assault and not attempted murder or more serious charges, or why the judge granted him bail.
Hours later, one of his relatives boasted on social media that he was already home and shared videos from a family gathering inside a home. He was shown holding a baby, standing in his kitchen, chatting to relatives.
Meanwhile, teacher Calvin Pettitt – who was shot because he tried to break up the fight – remained in the hospital, with a bullet in his shoulder that narrowly missed his aorta.
The 15-year-old boy, who has not been named, is also still in the hospital in a critical condition.
Pettitt’s horrified sister, upon learning the shooter had been released, tweeted: ‘How can this keep managing to get worse?’
The Tarrant County District’s Attorney still has not filed a case against the teen, and his next court date has not yet been scheduled.
Simpkins – who is 5ft 9in and weighs 135lbs – opened fire in his classroom at Timberview High School on Wednesday morning, shortly after 9am, after a fight with a 15-year-old boy who has not been named.
A video of their fight was posted on social media by Simpkins’ cousin on Wednesday night in an effort to prove that he was being bullied.
It shows Simpkins – who was identified by police as wearing a light colored hoodie in the footage – being pummeled by the other boy, who is three years his junior, while holding his hands around his head.
Once the fight was over, he went to his orange backpack, pulled out of his gun and started shooting.
Both he and the 15-year-old boy remain in the hospital. Pettitt is expected to survive and is in a good condition but the 15-year-old boy is in critical condition.
A third victim – a teenage girl – suffered a graze wound but is no longer in the hospital. A fourth person, believed to be a pregnant teacher, was injured when she tripped over in the chaos.
Simpkins was arraigned on Thursday morning via video link. He told the judge he understood the charges and that he would retain his own attorney.
Now, he is in the Tarrant County Correctional Center awaiting his next court date.
‘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,’ the police report, which DailyMail.com obtained a copy of on Thursday, read.
It also reveals that Pettitt was one of the teachers who tried to break up the fight.
Simpkins’ family spoke out to defend him on Wednesday night, claiming he is a ‘loveable’ boy who snapped after being ‘bullied’.
They say the other kids picked on him because he has a ‘nice car’ – a $35,000 Dodge Challenger – and wears nice clothes, like a pair of $160 Off-White x Nike sneakers he is pictured in on social media.
Other social media posts show him sitting in the car, with what looks like a black gun in the side door.
Police confirmed in his arrest warrant that the gun used in the shooting was black, but they have not given any further details.
It’s also unclear who it belongs to, when it was purchased and why he was able to get it into the school.
The school does not use metal detectors, like other high schools.
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.
‘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.
‘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,’ she went on.
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.
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.