At least four people were hurt Wednesday morning during a shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas. According to police, an 18-year-old student opened fire during a fight at the Dallas-area high school before fleeing and turning himself in to custody hours later.
Arlington police said there was a fight between students on the second floor of the school when one of the students pulled out a firearm. Police identified the suspected student as Timothy George Simpkins. Officials say they have seen video of the fight, but not the shooting, and reassured parents that the shooting was “not a random act of violence” or someone attacking the school.
Immediately after the shooting, armed police stormed the school of about 1,900 students, and initiated a manhunt across North Texas. As news of the incident spread, worried parents gathered at the Mansfield Independent School District Center for the Performing Arts, five miles from the high school, to be reunited with their children, who were driven over in buses.
Police said Simpkins later arrived at the Arlington Police Department with an attorney, and was handcuffed in the parking lot. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye said Simpkins is expected to be charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Police also said that a .45-caliber handgun was recovered in the streets of Grand Prairie, two miles from the school. As of the time of this writing, police have not confirmed if the gun was involved in the shooting at Timberview, but say it is being sent in for ballistics testing.
“We know that this is a tragedy, a traumatic incident for these high school kids. So, we have a tremendous amount of FBI, Arlington victim services that will hopefully talk to them and help them through this tragic incident,” Kolbye said at a news conference.
Kolbye reported a total of four people were hurt, including two students and two adults. A teenage female suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. A pregnant woman was also treated at the scene, and police reported a 25-year-old male employee at the school is in good condition. A 15-year-old male student is in critical condition and has been in surgery at Medical City Arlington.
Wednesday’s shooting occurred just days after a shooting at a Houston charter school. A former student of a Houston public charter school shot and wounded the campus principal Friday before quickly surrendering to police.
Texas’ deadliest shooting happened in 2018, when a 17-year-old student armed with a shotgun and a pistol opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston, killing 10 people, most of whom were students.
That same year, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 and injuring 17 others. The shooting triggered nationwide walkouts by students and the March for Our Lives demonstrations demanding action be taken on gun control legislation.
School shootings happen with frightening regularity in the United States with an average of approximately two every month in recent years. Students and teachers are regularly put through “active shooter” drills to prepare them for the possibility that someone will turn a gun on them to carry out a mass killing.
According to the latest data collected by EdWeek, there have been 22 school shootings so far this year in the United States. Six people have been killed, including four students, and 31 have been injured. The number of shootings is up sharply from 10 in 2020, when most schools went remote in response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, shootings this year are back on pace with 2018 (24) and 2019 (25).