The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — Four people were injured — including a 15-year-old boy who was critically wounded — in a shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington on Wednesday morning, and a suspect was taken into custody in the afternoon.
Arlington police said they received several calls around 9:15 a.m. about a shooting on the second floor of the school at 7700 S. Watson Road.
According to Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye, the shooting occurred during a fight in a classroom. Video circulating on social media shows two males fighting in a classroom.
Kolbye said four people were injured, including two who had been shot. Three were taken to a hospital, and an adult who fell and suffered minor injuries declined treatment.
Later Wednesday afternoon, police said a 15-year-old boy was in critical condition. A 25-year-old man whose relationship to the school was unknown was in good condition, and a teenage girl who had what police said was a small abrasion was expected to be released soon. None of their names were released.
Police identified 18-year-old Timothy George Simpkins as a suspect at a morning news conference. He turned himself in to authorities about 1:15 p.m. and, with an attorney, was speaking to detectives.
Kolbye said Simpkins faces three charges of aggravated assault.
Authorities could be seen outside a home on Harris Ridge Drive, about a mile from the school, for several hours after the shooting. Public records indicate that Simpkins lives at that home.
“This is not a random act of violence,” Kolbye said. “This is not somebody attacking our schools. … We believe this was a student who got into a fight.”
Kolbye said he wasn’t sure how the shooter got the gun into the school or whether there were metal detectors. He said that Grand Prairie police recovered a .45-caliber handgun and that federal authorities would run ballistic analysis on it to determine whether it was used in the shooting.
The school was placed on lockdown as officials conducted what Arlington police said was a “methodical” search.
Mansfield ISD said about 11 a.m. that the “all clear” had been given and that students would soon be taken to be reunited with their parents. Children were ushered onto school buses, which began arriving at the Center for Performing Arts at 1110 W. Debbie Lane around noon.
A number of law enforcement agencies were at the campus, including police from Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield and Mansfield ISD, as well as the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ron Franklin of Arlington stood waiting at the back entrance to the school about 11:30 a.m. He said he dropped off his 16-year-old daughter, Dalanie, at the school Wednesday morning but hadn’t heard from her in the two hours since the shooting.
He said he was driving to Garland and immediately turned around to head to the school once he heard there was a shooting.
“I just want to make sure she’s good and hug her,” Franklin said. “We’ve gone over these situations before but you think, ‘Maybe I didn’t go over it enough.’ You go over it not thinking that it’ll ever happen and then today it has so you just hope that you prepared her enough.”
Around 11:45 a.m., about two dozen people were gathered on North Webb-Ferrell Road, near South Collins Street. Many people said they knew students at the school and were waiting there until they came out.
Casey Parker, 39, came to the school with her friend and hairdresser, Cess Cannon, who was in the process of doing her hair when Cannon got the call.
Parker said Cannon calmed herself and called her son, who is a freshman. She said there were kids crying in the background, and that he said police were running up and down the hallways.
“At that point, I ripped the foils out of my head, had another stylist rinse my head, and said ‘Let’s go,’” Parker said. “She was physically shaking, so I was like, ‘I’ll drive you there.’”
She said Cannon’s son was OK and was hunkered down in his classroom. “His teacher put on a movie and had to step outside and collect themselves,” she said.
Tyleisha Degrate, who was standing along a highway service road across from the school, said her two children were safe but that she wants actions taken to make sure they’re safe in the future.
“I don’t see why they don’t have metal detectors and proper equipment to protect everyone,” she said. “This shouldn’t ever have to happen.”
Arlington Mayor Jim Ross said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.
“I’m a father of four and a grandfather of five,” he said. “I empathize with the fear and anxiety associated with the safety of our kids and today’s society.”
Ross said the shooting appeared to be something that arose from an altercation, not an active-shooter situation, and that authorities would leave “no stone unturned” to get the suspect into custody.
“It makes me wonder how are kids getting guns around here and how is that happening,” the mayor said. “Anytime you see something like this in this country, it really breaks your heart.”
State Rep. Chris Turner, a Democrat whose district includes the school, wrote in a tweet that the situation was a “terrible tragedy.”
“I am trying to find out more details, but for now, please pray for those injured and the safety of all involved,” Turner wrote.
Nearly 2,000 students attend Timberview.
(Dallas Morning News staff writers Everton Bailey Jr., John Gravois, Kevin Krause and Charles Scudder contributed to this report.)
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