An 18-year-old Texas student, who allegedly opened fire and injured four people during a fight at his high school on Wednesday morning, has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident, police said.
According to KDFW, the suspect, identified as Timothy George Simpkins, turned himself in to authorities later on Wednesday. The teen was in the company of his attorney at the time.
The incident at the Timberview High School in Arlington occurred after Simpkins reportedly got into a fight with another student. Police said the suspect fired a number of shots during the physical altercation. The school was subsequently placed on lockdown, and students and staff were locked in their classrooms as well as offices. Simpkins took off in a car following the incident.
Two people were struck by the suspect’s bullets and they were transported to the hospital alongside another injured person for treatment. One of the wounded, a 15-year-old male, was said to be in a critical condition, while the conditions of another 25-year-old male and a teenage girl were listed as good. Police said a pregnant teacher who also sustained an injury as a result of the incident was rendered medical aid at the school.
Responding to the shooting, the alleged gunman’s family told reporters there was more to the incident and they hoped investigations would unravel that. They, however, clarified they weren’t defending his actions, KDFW reported.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that. That was not right,” a family member by the name of Carol Harrison Lafayette said. “But he was trying to protect himself. We hope the police department does the investigation properly.”
Lafayette also claimed the school shooting suspect was robbed and bullied, The Dallas Morning News reported. “He was robbed,” she alleged. “It was recorded. It happened not just once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was afraid.”
“There is no justification of anybody … being hurt,” she added. “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.”
Simpkins is currently in custody on a $75,000 bond. He is facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.