The family of the young man who allegedly injured four people, including his teacher, when he opened fire at a Texas high school claim the 18-year-old had been bullied.
Timothy George Simpkins, a student at Timberview High School in Arlington, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after turning himself in Wednesday afternoon.
He was accused of firing a .45-caliber handgun during a fight with another student.
A woman who identified herself as the suspect’s mother claimed he was bullied but declined to elaborate, the Dallas Morning News reported.
A cousin, Cint Wheat, wrote 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,” according to the newspaper.
And a woman who said she is a relative speaking for Simpkins’ family told the media that he had been robbed before the shooting.
“He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid,” Carol Harrison-Lafayette said, the Dallas paper reported, adding, “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 said.
When asked about bullying allegations by some parents, schools spokesman Donald Williams said the Mansfield district is conducting a full investigation.
“What I will say to that is we take the safety and security of our students in our faculty and staff seriously,” he reportedly said.
Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon that the shooting stemmed from a fight that broke out in a classroom.
People have since linked two videos shared in social media of a fight in a classroom to the shooting, NBC DFW reported.
“I can confirm that we are aware of both videos and we believe they show the fight that took place this morning prior to the shooting,” police spokesman Tim Ciesco said, according to the station. “They are being looked at as part of the investigation.”
A 15-year-old boy remained in critical condition after being shot, police said. A 25-year-old man who was also shot was in good condition, along with a teenage girl who was not struck by gunfire, according to cops.
A pregnant teacher was injured after she fell during the incident, but was not hospitalized, officials said.
Simpkins is being held on a $75,000 bond.