The family of Timothy Simpkins, the 18-year-old charged for a shooting at his high school, said he was pushed to a breaking point from routinely getting bullied and robbed at his school in Arlington, Texas.
“The decision he made, taking the gun, we’re not justifying that. That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself,” family spokesperson Carol Harrison Lafayette told reporters Wednesday (Oct. 6), according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Earlier that day, a video circulating on social media purports to show Simpkins in a fight. Lafayette said he was defending himself from an attacker, The Dallas Morning News reported. She said he was targeted for wearing nice clothes, having a nice car and other things that they didn’t have.
CBS-Dallas Fort Worth said all of those injured were expected to recover.
“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,” the family’s Facebook post says, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Police say Simpkins opened fire after getting into a fight with another student, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reports. At some point either during or after the fight, he allegedly began shooting then fled the scene.
According to court documents, authorities filed three charges of aggravated assault against the Simpkins who was released on $75,000 bond Oct. 7. Simpkins was placed on house arrest as a condition of his bond.
Simpkins family said in the Facebook post that he was a straight-A student. “Timothy has always been a kind and thoughtful child who loves to learn,” the post says.. “Because he spends so much time focusing on his studies, most of his relatives call him the ‘little nerd’ of the family.”