Authorities say an 18-year-old student opened fire during a brawl at his Dallas-area high school on Wednesday, hurting four people before fleeing and being apprehended hours later.
The Arlington Police Department tweeted that Timothy George Simpkins was apprehended without incident. He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and held on $75,000 bail at the Arlington jail.
According to authorities, one individual was in critical condition, another was in good health, and a third was treated for minor abrasions. It was expected to leave the hospital later Wednesday. A fourth individual was injured but did not require hospitalization. Three of the four people hurt were students, according to police.
The shooting at Timberview High School, which is in Arlington but is part of the Mansfield school district, began with an argument in a classroom, according to Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye, who spoke at a news conference before Simpkins' arrest.
He stated, "This is not a random act of violence." "This isn't an attack on our school," says the narrator.
According to a spokesman for his family, Simpkins' family reported he was bullied and robbed twice at school.
"We're not justifying his decision to take the gun," said Carol Harrison Lafayette, a family spokesman who talked to reporters outside the Simpkins' home while standing with other relatives. "That wasn't the case. He was, nevertheless, attempting to defend himself.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives looks into how the suspect came into possession of a firearm. On Wednesday, officers from neighboring jurisdictions, including the cities of Mansfield and Grand Prairie, assisted.
Hanyla Milligan, a student, said she first heard about the gunshot when she heard a disturbance.
"Someone outside my classroom said, 'He just shot him,'" Milligan, 16, said, adding that she immediately heard people fleeing. "Everyone was terrified." They were both crying. They were trembling."
Hundreds of parents gathered at the Mansfield Independent School District Center for the Performing Arts, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the high school, to be reunited with their children, who had been bused over, after hearing about the incident. Justin Rockhold, whose ninth-grade son texted him to say he was okay, was one of them.
Rockhold said he served in the military and used that experience to teach his son to stay safe by keeping his head down and remaining still. When asked if he had anticipated a shooting at the school, he replied his military experience serves as a constant reminder of life's dangers.
"Obviously, it's always something in America — in the world we live in today...." "It's in the back of your mind," Rockhold said, adding that he was hoping for the best for the injured. "Today, I'm just grateful that my child is safe."
About 1,900 students in grades 9 through 12 attend Timberview. The huge complex first opened its doors in 2004.
Arlington is a prominent suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with a population of around 400,000 people. The Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and the stadiums where the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and MLB's Texas Rangers play are located in the city. Authorities in Arlington, near Timberview, stopped a part of a tollway while scores of school buses picked up youngsters to reconnect them with their parents. Some parents waited for hours to retrieve their children as the area's traffic slowed to a standstill.
The shooting occurred just days after an administrator was hurt in a shooting at a Houston charter school. In May 2018, a 17-year-old student armed with a shotgun and a pistol opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston, killing ten people, most of whom were students.