Family Of Alleged Shooter Says Not His Fault: ‘Trying To Protect Himself’

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Police managed to track down a teen boy who they say opened fire on students and teachers at a Texas high school. However, the alleged shooter’s family insists that he’s not at fault and was merely acting in self-defense.

Timothy George Simpkins
Timothy Simpkins, 18, surrendered to police for a shooting at a Texas high school. (Photo Credit: Arlington Police Department)

Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was named as the perpetrator of a shooting at a high school in Arlington. The teen was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly opening fire at Timberview High School during a fight with a classmate.

Two students and two teachers were injured in the shooting, including a 15-year-old boy who was shot and was in critical condition, a female classmate who was grazed, and 25-year-old English teacher Calvin Pettitt, who was shot in the back. A pregnant woman was also injured while falling, The Dallas Morning News reports. Investigators claim that the fight was over before Simpkins pulled a firearm from his backpack and opened fire.

The teen’s family claims he brought a gun to school in self-defense because he was being bullied and robbed. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

While his family doesn’t deny that he fired the shots, they are adamant that he’s not legally responsible for the injuries he caused. In fact, they’re pointing the blame at the school. The family told KDFW that Simpkins was only “trying to protect himself” when he brought the gun to school, claiming that he was severely bullied because he is wealthy.

“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that. That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself. We hope the police department does the investigation properly,” said Carol Harrison Lafayette, a family member. “He was robbed. It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid.”

Lafayette claims that Simpkins had been relentlessly bullied over his expensive clothing and was repeatedly robbed. They accused the school of turning a blind eye to the abuse. However, the family of 15-year-old Zacchaeus Selby, who was shot and in critical condition, says that their son never bullied his 18-year-old classmate.

“Zacchaeus is a bright young and respectful individual who lit up a room every time with his presence,” the family’s Go Fund Me for medical expenses reads. “He has a heart of gold and does not deserve to be fighting for his life in the ICU due to being shot in an environment were kids should feel safe. This innocent 15 year old did not bully Tim, 18 year old senior – or deserved to be in the hospital fighting for his life.”

His family boasted on social media that the teen was released on bond just hours later. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

The family of the accused posted a video on social media showing a fight between a pair of students, who they claim are Simpkins and Selby. The police department investigated the claims but didn’t confirm whether the school was made aware of any bullying.

“I just want to stress that, you know, we don’t accept bullying and it’s the responsibility of the teachers to deal with some of those things in the Mansfield school district,” Kolbye said. “But even if you’re bullied, there are other options besides carrying a gun into a school and using a gun in a situation like that. That’s just not acceptable today.”

Simpkins was released hours later on bond, and photos and videos were uploaded to social media showing the teen partying with friends and family soon after. In the posts, the family boasts of how quickly the teen was released from police custody.

Timothy George Simpkins
A photo circulating on social media appears to show the teen with a firearm sticking out of the door pocket of his Dodge Charger. (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Other social media posts have circulated, showing Simpkins in his Dodge Charger with what appears to be a firearm sticking out of the car door. Investigators didn’t immediately release details surrounding the ownership of the gun.

Although Simpkins lives with his grandmother, the teen’s mother released an open letter in a Go Fund Me asking for $25,000. The account was later removed.

“Many of you have seen the video of the brutal beating Timothy Simpkins received. He never even returned a blow. He simply balled up and covered his head trying to protect himself,” the mother claims. “Not to mention that the young man responsible for beating and harassing him had recently made threats to kill him so you see, my son was terrified and believed he would be murdered just like his father.”

Timothy George Simpkins
The family of the 15-year-old victim insists Timothy Simpkins (pictured) is lying about being bullied. (Photo Credit: Arlington City Jail)

It’s unclear why Simpkins was charged with aggravated assault and not attempted murder, or why he was quickly granted bail. Expectedly, his victims aren’t happy with the judge’s decision and will continue to fight for justice.

Whether Simpkins was bullied and robbed may be relevant to the case. However, it doesn’t excuse his bringing a gun to school and shooting innocent people, especially if he wasn’t in immediate danger at the very moment he opened fire.