Arlington, Texas (AP) – An 18-year-old student opened fire during a fight at his Dallas-area high school on Wednesday, wounding four people and then fled before being taken into custody hours later, officials said. said.
Timothy George Simpkins was taken into custody without incident, Arlington Police Department tweeted. He was incarcerated at Arlington Prison on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was held on $75,000 bail.
Police said that one person was in critical condition, another was in good condition and the third person was treated for minor scratches and was to be released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. A fourth person was injured but did not require hospital treatment. Police had earlier said that three of the four injured were students.
Arlington Assistant Police Chief Kevin Colby told a news conference prior to Simpkins’ arrest that the shooting at Timberview High School, which is in Arlington but belongs to the school district of neighboring Mansfield, stemmed from a fight in a classroom.
“This is not a random act of violence,” he said. “It’s not someone attacking our school.”
Timberview serves approximately 1,900 students from classes IX to XII. The huge complex opened in 2004.
After news of the shooting spread, parents gathered at the Mansfield Independent School District Center for the Performing Arts, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the high school, to be reunited with their children, who were taken on a bus . Among them was Justin Rockhold, whose ninth-grade son texted him to let him know he was fine.
Rockhold said he served in the military and drew on that experience to instruct his son, telling him to keep his head down and stay safe. Asked whether he thought there might be a school shooting, he said his military training also reminded him of the dangerous realities of life.
“Obviously in America – the world we live in today – it is always something or the other. … It is on your mind,” Rockhold said, praying for the wounded. “I am blessed today that My baby is safe.”
The shooting came just days after a shooting at a charter school in Houston in which an administrator was injured. Texas’ deadliest school shooting occurred in May of 2018 when a then 17-year-old armed with a shotgun and pistol opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston, killing 10 people, most of them students.
Acacia Coronado in Austin contributed to this report.