Timothy George Simpkins is an 18-year-old Texas student who is the suspect arrested in a shooting at Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas. Police said Simpkins fled from the school after the shooting and they are searching for him. Four people were injured and three were taken to the hospital after the shooting on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, police said. Simpkins was on the run for several hours before he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
Two were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. One victim suffered minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, police said. Arlington Police Assistant Chief Kevin Kolbye said at a press conference, “We believe there was a fight between a student and another individual” that led to the gunfire. The victims have not been identified.
Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, is part of the Mansfield Independent School District. The shooting was first reported about 9:15 a.m., police said. The Mansfield ISD called it an active shooter situation. On Twitter, Arlington Police said, “We are on scene at a shooting at Timberview High School. We are doing a methodical search and working closely with @ATFHQ @mansfieldisd Police, @MansfieldPDTX @GrandPrairiePD and other agencies.” Nearly 2,000 students attend the school, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Kolbye said about Simpkins, “If anyone comes across this individual please do not make contact with him. If they identify the car make sure they call 911 so we have an appropriate police response and let us bring this situation to a conclusion for the safety of the public. Our hearts go out to those who are injured today and all the students who went through a traumatic incident at the school.”
Here’s what you need to know about Timothy George Simpkins and the Timberview High School shooting:
1. Timothy Simpkins Fled From the Scene, Possibly in a Silver Dodge Charger & Was ‘Taken Into Custody Without Incident,’ Police Say
Arlington Police said on Twitter, “We are looking for a shooting suspect in today’s incident at @mansfieldisd Timberview School. Please call 911 if you know the whereabouts of 18-year old Timothy George Simpkins who may be driving a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger with license plate PFY-6260.” Other details about Simpkins were not immediately available.
About two hours later, Arlington Police tweeted, “The suspect has been taken into custody without incident and charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault with a gun. Most students have been safely evacuated from Timberview High School. Thank you for everyone’s help.”
At the press conference, Kolbye said police received the call around 9:15 a.m. about a shooting on the second floor of Timberview High School. He said several other phone calls came in to 911 about the same time. Kolbye said, “Now this incident, as tragic as it is, we take very serious in law enforcement. We do have a suspect who is identified. What we believed happened preliminary is that there was a fight between the student and another individual in a class and a gun was used. And there are four victims.”
Kolbye said, “I’m here to identify a person of interest right now. It is Timothy George Simpkins. He is a Black male 18 years of age. We have a car that he is currently driving, that we believe he is driving, it is a 2018 silver Dodge Charger license plate PFY-6260.”
Kolbye said a 911 caller identified Simpkins as the suspected shooter. According to WFAA, police were seen investigating in the neighborhood where Simpkins lives. The Dallas Morning News reported police were at a home on Harris Ridge Drive, about a mile away from the school, where public records show Simpkins resides with family.
2. Police Said, ‘This Is Not Somebody Attacking Our Schools … It Was a Student That Got Into a Fight & Drew a Weapon’
Kolbye added, “We currently have multiple agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Task Force, that is looking for this individual. This is a collaborative effort between state, local and federal agencies to bring this person to justice.” Mansfield Police Chief Tracy Aaron said at the press conference, “There’s going to be continued searches for our suspect. We ask for our citizens’ help to continue to search for that person and call in any leads that you may have. You should know at this point that this person is considered to be armed and dangerous and I’d suggest that you call 911 as soon as you see that person or as soon as you see that suspect vehicle.”
Kolbye said, “I just want to reemphasize that this is not a random act of violence. This is not somebody attacking our schools. This is a student, we believe right now preliminary, that it was a student that got into a fight and drew a weapon.” He added, “We had two Mansfield Independent School District police officers housed in the school. They were here and they were on scene immediately to render safety to our students.”
When asked if he believed there was any continuing threat to the high school and if there was any danger to the community there, Kolbye told reporters, “I have a high confidence right now that the shooter is not on the premises. I have a high confidence it was only one shooter at this school.” When asked how Simpkins was able to escape from the school and whether the chaos played a factor, Kolbye said, “There is video. We are trying to review the video to where he came out.”
Aaron added, “Be having the victims in your thoughts and prayers. Please lift those folks up in your prayers. Some of those are already in surgery. So be thinking about those. Be thinking about our suspect and his family. We need to bring this to a safe resolution and that’s what our goal is.”
3. A Video Captured the Moments Shots Were Fired Inside the High School & the Fight That Occurred Before It
A video that is circulating on social media shows the moments when shots were fired inside Timberview High School. Reporter Nerissa Knight shared the video and tweeted, “My daughter just texted me that there was a school school shooting at Timberview H.S. In Mansfield ISD in Arlington, TX. She sent this video that’s out. Her nearby school is on lockdown also, and we hear police sirens rushing in. Police confirm there is an active shooter. Praying.”
The 9-second video clip shows a student at a desk as multiple shots are fired. A student in the classroom can be heard saying, “Oh s***,” as the other students begin to scramble away from their desks to seek safety. At least three shots are heard in the beginning of the video and other shots are audible in the background as the students react.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram shared a video students say shows the fight that occurred before the shooting. The video can be seen above. Kolbye confirmed at a press conference that he had watched a video showing Simpkins in the classroom during the altercation before the shooting, but he did not confirm that it was the above video being spread on social media.
The video shows a student tackling another student across a classroom through desks. Another person can be heard saying, “Hello … there’s a fight … I need help.” The video ends with one of the students pushing the other up against a wall and punching him multiple times while calling him a “b**** a*** n****.” Police asked anyone with video of the shooting or the fight to provide it to them.
4. The ATF Says It Will Work to Figure Out How Simpkins Was Able to Get a Gun & Bring It Inside the School
Kolbye said he did not know what kind of weapon was used during the shooting. He also said he did not know how many shots were fired or how long the incident lasted. Jeff Boshek, who is the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Dallas Field Division, told reporters at a press conference the agency would work to figure out how Simpkins was able to obtain a gun and how he was able to get it into the high school.
“We’ll figure out where this individual got this gun from. Our agents won’t sleep, working with our partners here, to figure out how he got this weapon in his hand to come in this school and cause this tragedy today,” Boshek said. “So, I don’t have much information I can give you on the weapon. Obviously, we don’t have that yet. We haven’t been in the school to figure out the caliber of the weapon or anything like that yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll have something to get out to you guys. To all the victims’ families, you’re in our thoughts and prayers.”
Kolbye said he did not know if there were metal detectors at the school. Boshek added, “As a law enforcement officer and then as a parent with a student in Arlington ISD, this is kind of your scariest moment when this happens not only with what you do for your job but when you have a wife who is a teacher and several kids that go to school in the district.”
5. A Teacher Barricaded His Classroom After Shots Were Fired as He Taught About the Battle of Yorktown
A teacher at the school, Dale Topham, wrote on Facebook, “Shots fired at Timberview HS in Mansfield ISD in Arlington, TX. Right in the middle of my discussion of the Battle of Yorktown. We are in lockdown. The shots were fired just down the hall from our classroom. Our classroom door is barricaded (see photo).” He added, “UPDATE: According to one of my students, the shooter just ran down the hall past our classroom chasing two girls.”
In another Facebook post, Topham said, “Several shots fired just down the hall from my classroom. Students dove for cover very fast! We are currently in lockdown. Police still looking for shooter.”
A mother told CBS 11 News she had spoken to their son who was inside the school when the shooting occurred, “He said the doors are locked and the police still haven’t found the shooter. I haven’t been able to reach my son for 20 minutes. … When we last spoke I heard the other kids crying and screaming in the classroom.”
Arlington Police tweeted, “All Parents -@mansfieldisd is setting up a parent reunification point at the Center for Performing Arts located at 1110 W. Debbie. Officers will be at that scene. Students will eventually be bused to that location after the school is completely secured.”
Kolbye said “multiple agencies were doing a methodical search of the school. We are trying to make sure that all our children are safe as they are in lockdown. And we’re going to try to do an orderly fashion to bring them out of the school to ensure they are brought to their parents.”
He told reporters, “We want to continue to make sure that we lock down our students to make sure they are safe. We have Grand Prairie Police Department, the Mansfield Police Department, Arlington Police Department and other SWAT teams that are methodically going through these rooms and releasing these children to make sure they are safe. We want to make sure we get identification from each of these students, we want to make sure that they don’t have any weapons on them themselves. So it’s just a customary process that we will do to make sure that everybody is safe before we get them out on the buses.”