Texas high school shooter, 18, is taken into custody and charged

2 weeks ago
AMERICA NEWS NOW

A 25-year-old English teacher narrowly escaped with his life when he was shot in the back by an 18-year-old armed with a .45 caliber gun who has since turned himself in to police accompanied by his attorney.

Calvin Pettitt suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung when he was allegedly shot by Timothy George Simpkins at Timberview High School in Arlington on Wednesday morning.

The victim's sister, Grace Rinearson, said the bullet narrowly missed his aorta and described the shooting as 'one of the scariest mornings of my life.'

She added in a tweet: 'Feeling extremely blessed and thankful. Please hold you loved ones close, this is a crazy world we're living in.'

Pettitt's Facebook profile suggests he graduated from Texas State University in 2018 before becoming a teacher.

Simpkins opened fire following a fight at the school on Wednesday. Video footage has emerged of a brawl but DailyMail.com cannot independently verify the clip.

Police launched a manhunt and said he should be considered 'armed and dangerous' and believed to be in a 2018 silver Dodge Charger.

The suspect then turned himself into police after being driven to the station by his attorney at around 1:15pm local time.

He was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a gun and is being held at the police station in Ott Cribbs in Arlington. Bail was set at $75,000.

Local media reported that SWAT teams raided the family's home in Arlington and kept them outside while they searched the premises at around 2:30pm local time. Simpkins' mother reportedly claimed that her son was the victim of bullying. 

Neighbors said that Simpkins lived at the home with his grandmother.

Police said that all 1,700 students at the school were evacuated. 

Calvin Pettitt (left), a 25-year-old English teacher at a Texas high school was shot and wounded on Wednesday morning, it was learned, as authorities took an 18-year-old, Timothy George Simpkins (right), into custody and charged him with several accounts of aggravated assault for firing a .45 caliber gun during a fistfight before fleeing in his Dodge Charger

Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas (above) was placed on lockdown on Wednesday morning following reports of an active shooter

Police said that the weapon. a .45 caliber, was recovered along England Parkway in Grand Prairie, which is about two miles from the high school. 

The gun is being examined for ballistics testing, according to law enforcement officials. 

Caliber refers to the diameter of the interior of the barrel of a gun or firearm, which is also known as a bore. It is usually expressed in hundredths of an inch or in millimeters. A .45 caliber gun means that the diameter of the bore is forty-five hundredths of an inch.

'We will investigate you': Angry police chief says officers were diverted from locked-down school after fake threats were made on social media

Assistant Arlington police chief Kevin Kolbye (above) briefs reporters outside the school on Wednesday

Assistant Arlington police chief Kevin Kolbye told reporters that police needed to divert resources as they responded to the shooting due to threats made on social media of possible shootings at area schools.

The threats were made just after police were called to Timberview sometime after 9:15am on Wednesday.

Kolbye said that state as well as federal law enforcement officials are investigating the matter and may bring charges against those who made false threats.

'I want the message to be out there that this is not something to continue. We will investigate you,' Kolbye said.

'The federal government partners will also be able to investigate you if you’re not living in our city and will bring you to a successful prosecution.'

Daniel Scesney, the chief of police in Grand Prairie, said his personnel were diverted from Timberview and sent to investigate potential threats in other parts of northern Texas.

He urged parents to monitor their children's social media accounts. 

'If they are putting out threats on their schools, they're going to get arrested and they’re going to get prosecuted,' he said.  

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that the gun used in the incident was not legal, adding that 'it is illegal for the shooter to either possess or have purchased the gun that was used in this crime.' 

Texas law requires that anyone below the age of 18 receive parental consent to carry a gun. The state also makes it illegal to carry a firearm onto school premises unless proper authorization is given by the administration.

A 15-year-old student is in critical condition after he underwent surgery; a 25-year old male employee, Pettitt, is in good condition; and a teenage girl suffered a small abrasion and is expected to be released from hospitals soon.

The other two victims will remain in Medical City Arlington for recovery. 

Simpkins turned himself in after he fled the school in a 2018 Silver Dodge Charger with a license plate number PFY6260. 

Authorities had warned the public that Simpkins was considered 'armed and dangerous'. 

Assistant Arlington police chief Kevin Kolbye added: 'This is not a random act of violence. This is not somebody attacking our school.' 

'This is a student, we believe right now, preliminary, that it was a student that got into a fight and drew a weapon,' he said.

Investigators said that a fight ensued in a classroom on the second floor of the high school, prompting the suspect to open fire at around 9:15am. 

Three of the victims were students and one was an older person, possibly a teacher, according to law enforcement officials. A pregnant woman fell during the shooting and was treated at the scene, Kolbye said.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF's) Dallas field office and the FBI were at the scene, but the criminal investigation is being led by the Arlington Police Department. 

Kolbye told reporters that police needed to divert resources as they responded to the shooting due to threats made on social media of possible shootings at area schools.

The threats were made just after police were called to Timberview sometime after 9:15am on Wednesday.

Kolbye said that state as well as federal law enforcement officials are investigating the matter and may bring charges against those who made false threats.

'I want the message to be out there that this is not something to continue. We will investigate you,' Kolbye said.

'The federal government partners will also be able to investigate you if you’re not living in our city and will bring you to a successful prosecution.'

Daniel Scesney, the chief of police in Grand Prairie, said his personnel were diverted from Timberview and sent to investigate potential threats in other parts of northern Texas.

He urged parents to monitor their children's social media accounts. 

'If they are putting out threats on their schools, they're going to get arrested and they’re going to get prosecuted,' he said. 

Timberview serves about 1,900 students in ninth through 12th grades. The sprawling complex opened in 2004. 

Students at the school immediately sprang into action when the shots rang out on Wednesday morning.

A history teacher at Timberview, Dale Topham, told the New York Post he was in the middle of a lesson on the Revolutionary War when he heard 'crashing noises' from across the hall.

'All my students instantly recognized the sound and said "gunshots," turned off the lights, and hid behind desks,' Topham said.

When students were unable to lock the door, several of them pushed a bookshelf, desks, and chairs against it to create a makeshift barricade, according to Topham. 

'We hunkered down and waited for what felt like forever,' he said. 

While in hiding, students comforted one another and 'instantly' took to their phones to let their parents know that they were alright.  

Police in Arlington were on the scene in a nearby residential area in search of the suspect on Wednesday afternoon before he turned himself in to police

A massive police presence was seen in a residential neighborhood not far from the school after the shooting on Wednesday

People are gathered outside of the school as it was placed on lockdown on Wednesday

Local news stations broadcast images filmed by helicopter news teams that show fire trucks in the parking lot where students and faculty staff were gathering

Dale Topham, a history teacher, was in the middle of a lesson on the Revolutionary War when the gunshots rang out.  When students were unable to lock the door, several of them pushed a bookshelf, desks, and chairs against it to create a makeshift barricade, according to Topham

Topham posted on Facebook just moments he and his students heard gunshots from across the hall on Wednesday

Topham said his students spent about 30 minutes sheltering in place. As police conducted a door-to-door search for the shooter, an officer came by and instructed Topham and his students to stay put. 

After police gave the 'all clear,' the students were bused to reunification center where they met their parents. Topham told the Post he did not know the suspect.

Topham (pictured) said his students spent about 30 minutes sheltering in place

Kolbye told reporters that on-site officers were inside the school at the time of the shooting. It is unclear how the gun made it into the school. 

The ATF said it will track down the weapon that was used.

'We'll figure out where this individual got this gun from,' Jeff Boshek, special agent in charge of the ATF's Dallas Field Division, told CNN.

'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.' 

One parent told CBS 11 TV that their child contacted them from inside the classroom. 

'He said the doors are locked and the police still haven’t found the shooter,' the mother recalled. 

'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.' 

One parent who was texting her son from outside the school told WFAA-TV: 'The teachers were being taken in, and they said two people are in surgery... I don't know. I don't know.

'I just know my kid is in there and he's scared and they're in the dark. Police are going up and down.' 

One woman posted a video clip on social media her daughter sent her, which purported to be taken by a student at the school. The clip shows students rushing out of their seats after hearing loud bangs. 

Officers at the scene ran from the parking lot and into the school while armed with long guns, according to NBC 5

One local television station, CBS DFW, posted an image believed to be from one of the classrooms inside the school. It shows chairs stacked against a door as a barricade.   

Local news stations broadcast images filmed by helicopter news teams that show fire trucks in the parking lot where students and faculty staff were gathering.

The school district later announced that a lockdown had been lifted after the 'all clear' was given and the building was secured a short time later.  

The image above shows students evacuating Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday

A law enforcement officer walks in the parking lot of Timberview Hight School after a shooting inside the school

In this image from WFAA-TV video, law enforcement arrives at Timberview High School on Wednesday

The Mansfield Independent School District which oversees the school released a statement saying that the school was on lockdown and that students and staff were 'locked in their classrooms/offices.'   

Arlington police said the school district is setting up a staging area where parents can meet their children.

The reunification point is at the Center for Performing Arts located at 1110 W. Debbie Lane. 

Large groups of people are seen above in the parking lot of Timberview High School in Arlington on Wednesday

Initial reports indicate that at least three people were wounded 

Heavily armed police officers are seen above in the school parking lot on Wednesday

Students are seen above leaving the school on Wednesday after the 'all clear' was given

A large group of people as well as several police officers are seen outside the family reunification center on Wednesday

The image above shows students at the family reunification center where they met parents after the shooting

A convoy of school buses transported students to a family reunification center nearby 

The reunification point is at the Center for Performing Arts located at 1110 W. Debbie Lane in Mansfield

The image above shows an aerial view of the family reunification center in Mansfield, Texas on Wednesday

Police were seen at the family reunification center in Mansfield, Texas on Wednesday

'We feel confident that the shooter will be located very, very soon,' Republican Governor Greg Abbott told reporters during a visit to the Texas-Mexico border hours after the shooting. 

Abbott's office later released a statement that read: 'As law enforcement continues their investigation, our hearts go out to the victims of this senseless act of violence.

'Thank you to the law enforcement officers and first responders who arrived on the scene to help the victims and prevent further violence.

'I have spoken with the Mayor of Arlington and offered any assistance the state can provide, and I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety to make state resources available to help being the criminal to justice.

'I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the victims, their families, and the entire Timberview High School community.' 

Stephanie Wade (left) comforts her daughter Keeley after she became emotional describing the environment during a school shooting to the media after the pair were reunited in Mansfield

A Burleson, Texas, SWAT officer directs traffic to a parking area for families arriving to be reunited with their school children

A law enforcement officer directs family members arriving at the Center For The Performing Arts to be reunited with their school children

Families stand outside the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts waiting to be reunited with their children

Families are addressed by an unidentified person (center) as they wait to be reunited with their children

School busses depart past a law enforcement official after dropping off Timberview High School children at the Mansfield ISD Center For The Performing Arts

A woman and a teenage holds hands as they depart the Mansfield ISD Center For The Performing Arts Center where families were reunited with Timberview High School students on Wednesday

Police in Texas have arrested a student suspected of opening fire during a fight at his Dallas-area high school, leaving four people injured

Timberview High School students are seen above leaving the Mansfield ISD Center For The Performing Arts

Authorities gave the 'all clear' after the school was placed on lockdown for some two hours on Wednesday morning

Transportation officials said drivers should expect delays on State Highway 360 near Debbie Lane. 

The southbound SH 360 exit ramp to Debbie Lane is closed at this time. 

Arlington Independent School District announced that the following schools were placed on lockout - Arlington Collegiate High; School at Tarrant County College; Ashworth Elementary; Barnett Elementary; Beckham Elementary; Bebensee Elementary; Bowie High School; Bryant Elementary; Hale Elementary; Ousley Junior High; and Pearcy STEM Academy.

Lockout means that the school's exterior doors are locked from the inside. Administrators say all students are safe inside and that instruction is continuing as planned. 

'Arlington ISD officials have offered their full support to the Mansfield ISD, including mutual aid from the Arlington ISD security teams, counselors, crisis communications or any other requests Mansfield ISD makes,' the Arlington ISD said in a press release. 

The shooting happened just days after a shooting at a Houston charter school that injured an administrator. Texas’ deadliest school shooting occurred in May of 2018 when a then-17-year-old armed with a shotgun and a pistol opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston, killing 10 people, most of whom were students.