Family of Timothy Simpkins, Timberview School Shooting Suspect, Ask for Forgiveness

The family of an 18-year-old student accused of opening fire during a fight at his Texas high school have asked for forgiveness, saying the teenager had made a bad decision but was protecting himself.

Timothy George Simpkins was taken into custody without incident hours after the shooting at Timberview High School on Wednesday, the Arlington Police Department said. He was booked in the Arlington jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was being held on $75,000 bail.

Police were called to the school on Wednesday morning after reports of a shooting following a fight, Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said at a news conference.

Three people who were injured were taken to hospital, he said. A pregnant teacher was also hurt in a fall, but was treated at the scene, according to Fox4.

"This is not a random act of violence," Kolbye said. "This is not somebody attacking our school."

Carol Harrison Lafayette, a spokesperson for the Simpkins family, told reporters that the teenager was bullied at school and hopes a police investigation will reveal more about the circumstances that prompted the shooting.

"He was scared. He was afraid. There's a video that's all out on social media and it shows that he was being attacked," she said. "It wasn't just one person that would attack him and bully him, taking his money, harassing him due to the fact that he had more things than maybe others."

Lafayette added that the family was not justifying the teenager's decision to take a gun to school. "The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that. That was not right," she said. "But he was trying to protect himself. So we hope the police department does the investigation properly."

She added that there will be independent investigations as well.

Asked if the family had a message for the victims, Lafayette said: "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."

Timberview High School is in Arlington but belongs to the school district in neighboring Mansfield.

The Mansfield Independent School District said there would be no school for students of Timberview High School and the Early College High School on Thursday, adding that counseling services would be available for students, staff and families.

"It has been a devastating day," the school district said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. "We are so grateful there were no fatalities, and reports indicate that those injured are expected to recover."

Emergency personnel at Timberview High School
Emergency personnel work the scene in the parking lot at Timberview High School after a shooting on campus on October 6, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. Stewart F. House/Getty Images