Family Insists Texas School Shooter Was Bullied for Being Rich Before He Shot Teacher in Back and Bully Seven Times
Jennifer Smith et al., Daily Mail, October 6, 2021
Arlington school shooter Timothy Simpkins has been photographed in his $35,000 Dodge Charger with what appears to be a pistol in the side door of the driver’s seat and in other social media posts, standing on the car in expensive clothes and sneakers after his family claimed on Wednesday that he snapped because he was tired of being picked on for his nice things and shot up his school.
Simpkins, 18, turned himself in on Wednesday at around 1pm after fleeing Timberview High School in Arlington where he fired a .45 caliber pistol during a brawl with other students that morning.
Four people were injured; English teacher Calvin Pettitt, 25, who was shot in the back and is in the hospital with a collapsed lung, and 15-yerar-old student who is yet to be named who was also shot. Two others were injured but it’s unconfirmed if they were shot.
Simpkins has now been moved from the Arlington Police Department cells to Tarrant County Correctional Center.
He was arraigned via video link on Thursday morning where he told the judge he would retain his own attorney.
Police have not confirmed what type of weapon he used or who it was registered to. ATF agents are working to trace it now.
In an arrest affidavit released on Thursday afternoon, police described how he retrieved his black gun from an orange backpack in the classroom minutes after being beaten up in a brawl by another student.
One witness said he shot his attacker ‘seven or eight times’ before fleeing campus.
A video of the brawl was released on Facebook by Simpkins’ cousin on Wednesday in an attempt to prove that he was being bullied.
The footage shows him in a light colored hoodie being repeatedly punched by another teenager as teachers call for help. Police confirmed the video on Wednesday. In the police report, multiple victims tell how the incident unfolded.
The teenager’s family will not say where he got the weapon. On Wednesday night, they spoke out on Wednesday night to defend him, claiming he reacted angrily after being picked on for months. They said that while they didn’t condone the shooting, they were grateful he did not kill himself.
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.
On social media, his cousin Cint Wheat said he was ‘no bad kid’ and that he’d been picked on. She shared a video that police have confirmed of a fight inside the school, involving Simpkins, not long before the shooting, but it’s unconfirmed if the video was taken on Tuesday or Wednesday. It shows one teenage boy beating up another but neither boy’s face can be seen in the footage.
They attempted to explain what he did by saying he was ‘robbed’ repeatedly and picked on, and that while they didn’t condone what he did, they were glad he didn’t kill himself instead.
‘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.’
A woman who identified herself as his mother told the Dallas Morning News, outside the grandmother’s house, that he was bullied, but would not say any more.
She did not give her name.
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.
Many are questioning why the high school had no metal detectors to prevent students from bringing in firearms, but it is not common practice for school districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to use metal detectors.
Text messages shared by one parent with CBS reporter Jason Allen revealed the terror that students experienced on Monday.
The high schooler texted his mother saying: ‘Mom I’m scared.’
She told her son that she was going to call the police.
Grand Prairie police Chief Daniel Scesney said that officers were dispatched to each location, while others were searching for the suspect in the Timberview shooting.
Simpkins was being held at Arlington city jail on Wednesday night, ahead of his transfer to Tarrant County jail. He will appear before a judge after he has been transferred to the county jail.