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Arlington School Shooter Released On Bond, Lawyers Say It Wasn’t ‘Standard-Issue School Shooting’

Arlington, TX – The student who shot three people and injured a fourth at Timberview High School on Wednesday was released from the Tarrant County Jail on a $75,000 bond on Thursday.

Tarrant County Magistrate Judge Brooke Panuthos granted 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins release to 24-hour home confinement with a GPS monitor on Oct. 7, just one day after he shot multiple people inside his Arlington high school, WFAA reported.

Police said Simpkins opened fire in a second floor classroom shortly after 9 a.m. on Oct. 6 following a physical altercation with another student.

A video of the fight that police said precipitated the shooting was posted to social media by another student shortly after the incident and showed Simpkins was clearly being violently beaten by a bigger classmate while a teacher screamed for help in the background.

The arrest warrant for Simpkins said a witness told police that she heard a teacher yelling for help and went to assist her, WFAA reported.

The witness told detectives she entered the classroom and Simpkins and another boy fighting, according to the arrest affidavit.

She told police that she broke up the fight and was able to subdue the other student involved in the fight, WFAA reported.

Police said that 25-year-old Calvin Pettitt, a Timberview English teacher, also jumped in to help break up the fight, the New York Post reported.

“When the witness turns around to check on Simpkins, Simpkins had produced a firearm,” the affidavit read. “Upon seeing the firearm, this witness turned to run out of the classroom. The witness then heard three to four gunshots.”

The 15-year-old student seen fighting with Simpkins in the video – later identified as Zacchaeus Selby – was shot four times and remains in critical condition at Medical City Arlington, WFAA reported.

Selby’s family said the boy was shot in the arm, leg, chest, and stomach, and was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on a ventilator in a drug-induced coma after the first of what is expected to be multiple surgeries.

Police said Pettitt was shot in the back and suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung, the New York Post reported.

He was in good condition at the hospital, WFAA reported.

Timberview senior Jaeden Marshall said his English teacher had used an online messaging app to talk to his students after he was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

“He actually texted the class group chat that he’s in stable condition and he’s fine and he loves us,” Marshall said. “That’s Mr. Pettitt for you.”

A teen girl was treated at the hospital for a graze wound and released on Oct. 6, WFAA reported.

The fourth victim was a pregnant woman who fell and injured herself during the incident, but she was treated at the scene, according to police.

Simpkins fled the high school and a manhunt involving numerous law enforcement agencies ensued across the area.

Schools went into lockdown as authorities tried to apprehend the shooter.

Simpkins turned himself in at an Arlington police station late on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by his attorney, KTVT reported.

He has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Shortly after Simpkins turned himself in, his family faced reporters in front of their home and explained that the 18 year old was carrying a gun for self-defense because he had a history of being bullied at Timberview High School.

Carol Harrison Lafayette, acting as spokeswoman for the family, said Simpkins had also been robbed twice at the high school, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Attorney Kim T. Cole, speaking for Simpkins’ parents, blasted reporters outside the jail the next morning for having reported the incident as a “standard-issue school shooting,” the New York Post reported.

“There are numerous school shootings that have occurred across this country which are tragic. All school shootings are tragic,” Cole said. “However, in this situation, this was not someone who was just out to go and shoot a school and had made up their mind [and said,] ‘You know hey I’m upset and I’m just going to shoot anyone I see.’”

“That was not the situation here. So I request the media correct their narrative with regard to what happened, and that you all respect the family’s privacy,” she added.

Conditions of Simpkins release require him to submit to alcohol and drug testing and avoid contact with victims and witnesses, WFAA reported.

Social media responded with shock and surprise to see the accused school shooter had been released so quickly.

Selby’s family expressed horror that the gravely-wounded 15 year old was being painted as a bully while he lay in the ICU, WFAA reported.

“Our son is in ICU… he’s the victim,” Selby’s parents told WFAA.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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