Eighteen-year-old Timothy George Simpkins turned himself in after carrying out a school shooting that injured four students on Wednesday morning at Timberview High School, ABC 8 reports. His family says the student had previously been bullied.
Police report two teenage girls, one of whom was pregnant, and 25-year-old English teacher Calvin Pettit, are hospitalized but are “doing OK.” Another injured victim, a 15-year old student, is out of surgery and recovering in the intensive care unit at a local hospital.
Simpkins will be charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a gun with a bond set at $75,000.
At around 9:15 am, officers responded to a call about shots fired inside the high school, located off S. Watson Road. The school was then placed on lockdown.
The shooting happened after a fight ensued between Simpkins and the other four students in a second-floor classroom with the suspect leaving the building after using the firearm.
With help from witnesses and after hours of searching, police were able to identify Simpkins as the suspect.
Jaedan Marshall, a senior at the high school, spoke to the outlet and recounted Petit trying to diffuse the altercation.
“A teacher’s yelling out ‘help’ about three times,” Marshall said. “Not more than three seconds later, there were about six shots let off.”
Marshall said his stomach “dropped” and was focused on making sure he and his classmates stayed alive in a nearby classroom. He said Petit shared a message in their class group chat informing them he is in stable condition and loves his students.
Carol Harrison, a spokesperson for the Simpkins family, said the teen was trying to protect himself but that he shouldn’t have taken the gun to school.
“He was scared. He was afraid. There’s a video that’s all out on social media that show he was being attacked,” said Harrison. “It wasn’t just one person that would attack him and bully him, and taking his money, harassing him because he had more things than maybe others.”
Simpkins’ family said they are not justifying his actions and disagree with how he handled the situation.
The family sent a message to the victims’ of the shooting.
“We have to take a look at the fact that bullying is real, and it takes us all… We ask as a family for the forgiveness of any hurt,” they said.