One day after opening fire in an Arlington, Texas, high school and wounding four people, a suspected school shooter was released from jail on a $75,000 bond and reportedly celebrated with his family at a welcome home party.
Timothy George Simpkins, 18, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. After being released from Tarrant County Jail, he was seen in videos on social media celebrating with his family at home, according to the Daily Mail.
Kyle Hooten shared the apparently celebratory images on Twitter.
A GoFundMe fundraiser was initiated by Simpkins’ attorney with a $25,000 goal, but had raised just $150 before it was shut down by the website for violating its terms of service, according to Insider.
Meanwhile, one of Simpkins’ victims, 15-year-old Zacchaeus Selby who was shot four times in the incident, is still in the hospital in a medically-induced coma, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
“Zacchaeus is a bright young and respectful individual who lit up a room every time with his presence,” a GoFundMe for his medical expenses and legal costs stated.
“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 were (sic) kids should feel safe. He is a great brother, boyfriend, and coworker and does not have a bone in his body to bully anyone,” the fundraiser continued.
A spokesperson for Simpkins claimed on Facebook that Simpkins acted in self-defense after being bullied and robbed.
“From the beginning of this school year, Timothy has been bullied at school. He has been beaten, taunted, and harassed on a daily basis,” the post read, according to the Fort-Worth Star Telegram. “Recently he was ambushed by a group of young males outside of school, stripped of his clothing in front of a crowd of onlookers, and robbed of his money and possessions. He has been humiliated and stripped of his dignity on more than one occasion which led to him being fearful to go to school or even leave our home without an adult.”
Carol Harrison-Lafayette, who self-identified as a relative speaking on behalf of the Simpkins’ family, said the bullying has been reported to both teachers and administrative staff.
“I’m not trying to justify the gun that was brought, but when you’re being bullied, when there’s bullies, throughout this nation you hear of young people … committing suicide,” said Harrison-Lafayette, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we’re not justifying that,” she continued. “That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself. And so we hope that the police department does the investigation properly. There are going to be independent investigations that are going to be done as well so we can get to the bottom of really what happened.”