What started as a classroom fist fight turned into a school shooting that left four people hurt at an Arlington, Texas high school on Wednesday.
The reported gunman, 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins, has since been arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the local Fox 4 News.
High school student arrested
Simpkins fled the scene, but eventually turned himself in without incident, CBS reported. The authorities reportedly found a .45 caliber weapon that had been dropped in the streets of Grand Prairie, a few miles from Timberview High School.
Unlike many school shootings that grab headlines, Wednesday’s incident was not a “random” attack, Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said, but arose from a dispute between students.
“This is not a random act of violence,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “This is not somebody attacking our school.”
A viral video appears to show the suspect in a brawl with another student, moments before the shooting occurred around 9:15 a.m, as the teacher calls for help. Another disturbing video captures muffled gunshots.
The gunman hurt four people and three were sent to the hospital. Two received gunshot wounds. One of the victims, a 15-year-old male, is in critical condition, Fox 4 reported. A teenage girl and a 25-year-old male are in good condition. A pregnant teacher fell but is said to be OK.
Family calls it self-defense
Students described the horror of the scene to reporters. “Someone outside of my classroom said, ’He just shot him,” 16-year-old Hanyla Milligan told the AP. “People were scared. They was crying. They was shaking.”
A teacher, presumably the 25-year-old male, was shot, student Antonio Holloway said, according to Fox 4. “My teacher actually got shot. He was hurt in the process,” he said.
Students were evacuated to a nearby performing arts center, where they met with their parents, CBS said. Timberview was closed Thursday.
According to Fox 4, Simpkins is currently being held on a $75,000 bond. His family said they don’t condone his actions, but they said he was getting bullied and robbed at school and suggested he was acting in self-defense, according to reports.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that. That was not right,” family member Carol Harrison Lafayette told Fox 4. “But he was trying to protect himself. We hope the police department does the investigation properly.”