A Texas teenager has been found guilty of attempted capital murder for shooting three people, including two classmates, at his high school nearly two years ago.
Timothy Simpkins, 19, shot three people, fellow students Zacchaeus Selby, then 15, and Shaniya McNeely, as well as a teacher, Calvin Pettit, inside Timberview High School on October 6, 2021.
The sentencing phase of the trial will begin on Friday. In Texas, attempted murder carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, as Simpkins is being charged as an adult.
The Tarrant County prosecutor called Simpkins “a cold-blooded murderer” during closing arguments Wednesday.
Defense attorney Lesa Pamplin argued that Selby was the real threat, as he tried to hit Simpkins.
Timothy Simpkins, 18, shot three people, fellow students Zacchaeus Selby and Shaniya McNeely, as well as a teacher, Calvin Pettit, inside Timberview High School on October 6, 2021.
‘Terror was outside the classroom. Terror was not inside the classroom. The terror was Zach pacing up and down the hall trying to find someone to film him brutally beating Tim. That was the threat! The threat was outside. If the threat wasn’t let in, we wouldn’t be here,’ Pamplin said, according to fox 4..
Simpkins was originally arrested on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a shooting at Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas, that left a student seriously injured.
He was released on bail the next day and was seen celebrating with his family later that afternoon.
Simpkins, who is 5-foot-9 and 135 pounds, opened fire in his classroom at Timberview High School on October 6, 2021 shortly after 9 a.m., after a fight with a fellow student, Selby.
Simpkins’ cousin posted video of their fight on social media Wednesday night in an effort to show he was being bullied.
It shows Simpkins, who was identified by police as wearing a light-colored hoodie in the footage, being punched by Selby, who is three years his junior, as he put his hands around his head.
As the teachers and coaches tried to restrain Simpkins, he went to his orange backpack, pulled out a .45 caliber pistol, and began shooting at Selby, who was badly wounded.
He also hit a teacher, Calvin Pettit, then 25, who tried to break up the fight, and McNeely, who sustained a scratch wound.
This video, taken moments before the shooting, shows Timothy Simpkins, the shooter, being beaten in his classroom by a 15-year-old student, Zaccaeus Selby. After the teachers broke up the fight, Timothy went to his backpack and retrieved his gun. He shot the other boy ‘seven or eight times,’ according to the police report. He also shot a teacher in the back and grazed a teenage girl with another bullet before running away.
Simpkins is shown in his Dodge Charger in a social media post. On the side of the car, what looks like a gun is visible.
A pregnant teacher was also injured when she tripped in the ensuing chaos.
A police report of the incident says that a witness observed Simpkins firing ‘from his account, seven to eight times.
“The witness then observed the juvenile victim fall to the ground,” the police report stated.
Simpkins fled in a silver Dodge Charger before turning himself in to authorities.
Bail was set at $75,000, part of which was posted by a bondsman, allowing Simpkins to return home under house arrest.
Under the conditions of his house arrest, Simpkins was prohibited from using a weapon and required to stay 1,000 feet from the school.
Selby, for her part, was discharged from the hospital on October 20 after undergoing several surgeries, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Simpkins’ family has spoken out to defend him after his arrest, claiming he is a “lovable” kid who broke out after being “harassed.”
Fifteen-year-old student Zaccaeus Selby, left, and teacher Calvin Pettit, then 25, right, were wounded in the Oct. 6 shooting.
The school was evacuated after the shooting on October 6.
A law enforcement officer walks in the Timberview High School parking lot after a shooting inside the school.
They say the other kids picked on him because he has a “nice car,” a $35,000 Dodge Challenger, and wears nice clothes, like a $160 pair of Off-White x Nike sneakers that he appears in on social media.
Simpkins lives in a $400,000 house with her grandmother Lillie. He drives a silver 2018 Dodge Charger and his family described him as a “lovable” kid. It’s unclear what his parents do at work or how involved they are in his life.
They robbed him. It was recorded. It didn’t just happen once, it happened twice. He was scared, he was scared,” Carol Harrison Lafayette, a relative, told reporters outside the family home.
‘It could have been a decision that he could have killed himself…he was trying to protect himself. They were financially blessed.
“He was able to get things that other teenagers can’t have, because he wore nice clothes, because he drove nice cars, he was like a target.”
There’s no justification for anyone… getting hurt. We have to take a look at the fact that bullying is real. And it takes us all.
And I apologize. We apologize as a family for any type of injury,’ she continued.
Cint Wheat, his cousin, wrote in a Facebook post: “At the end of the day my little cousin got bullied. I don’t know what to feel about this, he’s not a bad boy.
She later claimed in the comments section of her post that her aunt went to the school to report the bullying but nothing was done.
“Right now, they are about to think about what should have been done when all the signs and cries for help were ignored,” he said.
His attorney, Kim T. Cole, subsequently set up a GoFundMe page. It had a goal of $25,000 and included a statement from Timothy Simpkins’ mother.
Timothy George Simpkins walked out of the Tarrant County Correctional Center after a bondsman posted part of his $75,000 bail
Subsequently, Dallas-based attorney Kim T. Cole also created a GoFundMe, asking the public to donate $25,000 to help Simpkins.
It included a lengthy statement from his mother, Katrina, who says: “Many of you have seen the video of the brutal beating of Timothy Simpkins. He didn’t even hit back. He just rolled into a ball and covered his head trying to protect himself.
“What they don’t know is that Timothy was robbed at gunpoint and stripped of his belongings a couple of weeks ago,” she wrote. And the unfortunate backstory is that Timothy’s father was brutally beaten to death. This fact definitely increased Timothy’s fear for his life.
‘Not to mention that the young man responsible for beating and harassing him had recently made death threats, so my son was terrified that he would be murdered just like his father.
She said that while she is “not suggesting that bringing a gun to school was the right choice,” there is “so much more to the story.”
‘My son has gone through a very traumatic experience. He needs counseling and therapy.
“Please donate what you can to help,” he added.
The page attracted $150 in donations before GoFundMe shut it down for violating its policies.