After posting a $75,000 bond, the 18-year-old alleged to have injured four people after opening fire at his high school in Texas earlier this month is now out of jail, the New York Post reports, and he appears to be celebrating. (Yes, you read that right.)
Timothy George Simpkins was released from jail Thursday and is now being confined to his home as he awaits trial on charges including “three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon,” according to the Post. In videos shared to social media and cited by the Post, the teen appeared to be celebrating with his family upon his release.
Four injured in Texas school shooting
Reports indicate that Simpkins’ family has argued he acted out of self-defense after being bullied at school. The Post said Simpkins had gotten into a fight with another student “that escalated to gunfire.”
“Simpkins pulled out a firearm from his backpack and fired several shots,” the Post said, citing an arrest warrant filed in the case.
According to local news reports, the shooting left four injured, including at least two who were shot and one pregnant woman who was hurt from a fall.
Among those who were shot, according to Fox 4 in Forth Worth, was a 25-year-old English teacher named Calvin Pettitt. He “was shot in the back,” Fox 4 said, after jumping in to break up the fight that appeared to spark the shooting. Pettitt suffered “broken ribs and a collapsed lung,” Fox 4 said.
Teen victim remains hospitalized
Zacchaeus Selby, a 15-year-old student at the school, was also shot three times and remains in a coma and in critical condition.
“He has a heart of gold and does not deserve to be fighting for his life in the ICU due to being shot in an environment [where] kids should feel safe,” a GoFundMe page set up for Selby reads, according to the Post. “He is a great brother, boyfriend, and coworker and does not have a bone in his body to bully anyone.”
A teenage girl who was hospitalized was said to be in good condition and will reportedly be released soon.
Family defends suspect’s actions
Simpkins reportedly fled the scene after the shooting but later turned himself in. As conditions of his release, he is not allowed to possess a firearm, nor can he go within 1,000 feet of Timberview High School — the scene of the shooting — or contact any of the victims.
He will also reportedly be subject to regular drug and alcohol testing. It remains to be seen when his trial will begin.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we are not justifying that,” one of the suspect’s family members said, according to Fox News. “That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself. We hope the police department does the investigation properly.”