Timothy George Simpkins made headlines on Wednesday after he engaged in a brawl with students at his school in Arlington, Texas, which ended in him opening fire with a .45 caliber pistol. An English teacher by the name of Calvin Pettitt, who is 25 years of age, tried to break up the fight but was shot in the back and suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Simpkins injured three others.
Now, at least one student at Timberview High School is calling for prayers not only for the victims, but also for Simpkins.
According to the Daily Mail, Simpkins turned himself into the police on Wednesday after the Arlington shooting. One of his victims, a 15 year old student, was in critical condition but has survived. The Arlington shooter's relatives claimed that Simpkins was being bullied and even "robbed" because they were "jealous" of his "nice clothes and fancy car," which was a 2018 silver Dodge Charger.
The New York Post reported that Simpkins was released from jail on Thursday afternoon, just a day after the Arlington shooting. The 18 year old is now subjected to home confinement after he posted the $75,000 bond at Tarrant County Jail. Civil rights attorney Kim T. Cole, who spoke on behalf of the Simpkims family, criticized the media for describing the incident as a "standard-issue school shooting."
Cole argued that while there are "numerous" school shootings across America, which she said are "all tragic," this incident is not one of those types of events. She said, "In this situation, this was not someone who was just out to go and shoot a school and had made up their mind [and said,] 'You know hey I'm upset and I'm just going to shoot anyone I see.'"
Ashlyn Henson, a 15 year old student at Timberview High School has called for prayers for Simpkins and his victims, Faithwire reported. During an evening prayer service at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Henson spoke out about the Arlington shooting and asked for the community to pray for Simpkins' salvation.
"I want to pray for the shooter, Lord God," Henson said through tears. "That you'd touch his mind. Touch his heart, Jesus. That you allow him to see his wrong. That you allow him to feel that remorse and that pain he caused. And that he fixes himself in your eyes, Lord God."
Cornerstone Baptist Church youth minister Al Curley also reminded community members that they could seek solace in God, especially "when tragedy strikes." He also called upon believers to "proclaim hope" in the midst of despair. He said, "As Christians we know that sin is the cause of why many things happen. And we know the answer to that problem is Jesus."
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz has expressed his grief over the Arlington shooting, which has left four people injured. According to Fox News, Sen. Cruz held a press conference on Wednesday to speak out about the incident.
"I know all of us are lifting up prayer the students and the teachers and the first responders and the parents," Sen. Cruz said. "There have been far too many of these at far too many schools and so we are grateful for the courage and heroism of the first responders and we are hopeful that all of the students or individuals who may have been injured will come through and survive."