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Student arrested in Mansfield ISD school shooting released on bond, his family says he was bullied

A woman in a pink tshirt stands next to a school bus, facing a school district building.
Tony Gutierrez
School buses depart after dropping off Timberview High School students at the Mansfield ISD Center For The Performing Arts on Wednesday in Mansfield, Texas, following a school shooting at Timberview in nearby Arlington.

An 18-year-old student accused of opening fire at a North Texas high school was released from jail Thursday after posting bond.

Two people were shot and two others suffered unspecified injuries in the shooting Wednesday at Timberview High School in Arlington. Police say Timothy George Simpkins was the shooter. Simpkins was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Arlington Police Department told local ABC stationWFAAit has obtained a video showing a fight taking place inside the classroom where a student and teacher were shot.

The video, reported to have circulated on social media after the shooting, was taken on a cell phone by a student. Police said it shows Simpkins and another student fighting.

“The suspect, we believe, is the one...who looks like he’s getting beat up and the victim is the one punching him,” said Arlington Police Spokesman Tim Ciesco.

“We are also aware of the allegations that the family members have made about bullying and that is definitely something we’re looking into.”

Ciesco said Simpkins has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count for each hospitalized victim.

“We do believe we have the gun that was used in the shooting in our custody,” Ciesco said. “Right now, our detectives are working with our partners at the ATF, doing tracing and other kinds of mechanisms that they have to try figure out…who the gun is registered to [and] where it might have come from.”

Simpkins' family said he had been bullied and robbed twice at school.

"The decision he made, taking the gun, we're not justifying that," said family spokeswoman Carol Harrison Lafayette, who spoke to reporters outside the Simpkins' home Wednesday night while standing with other relatives. "That was not right. But he was trying to protect himself."

Police say they are looking into the fight and the allegations of bullying.

Police said a 15-year-old student who was shot remained in critical condition while a 25-year-old teacher who was shot was in good condition Thursday.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.