Madness: GoFundMe started for ‘traumatized’ school shooter who was quickly released on low bail (op-ed)

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ARLINGTON, VA – Our nation has gone mad.

There is no other explanation for what is happening in Arlington, Texas, since a school shooter critically injured 15-year-old Zacchaeus Selby and seriously wounded 25-year-old teacher Calvin Pettitt, whom he shot in the back, when he opened fire at Timberview High School on Wednesday. 

In an inexcusable decision that goes against every possible logical argument, alleged shooter Timothy Simpkins, 18, who was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, was released on bail from the Tarrant County Jail on Thursday.

As hard as that is to imagine in a country being plagued by school shootings and growing student body counts, where parents sending their children to school have to worry like parents sending their children off to war… this story gets worse.

While schoolmate-turned-victim Selby lay in the hospital, clinging to life after being shot four times, Dallas attorney Kim T. Cole opened a GoFundMe page for the shooter, asking the public to give him money to help work through the trauma.

Not to help the victims, but to help the shooter.

The fundraiser included a long statement written by the shooter’s mother, who commented on a video that was released on social media showing a fight between Simpkins and Selby prior to the shooting.

The mother wrote:

“Many of you have seen the video of the brutal beating Timothy Simpkins received. He never even returned a blow. He simply balled up and covered his head trying to protect himself.

“What you don’t know is that Timothy was robbed at gunpoint and stripped of his possessions a couple of weeks ago. And the unfortunate backstory is that Timothy’s father was brutally beaten to death. This fact definitely heightened Timothy’s fear for his life.

“Not to mention that the young man responsible for beating and harassing him had recently made threats to kill him so you see, my son was terrified and believed he would be murdered just like his father.”

It is important to pause here and reflect for a moment. The two boys did have a schoolroom fight, as many students throughout the ages have. The fight was quickly broken up by school staff, and the boys were separated.

Not that it matters now, but where are the school records showing the family trying to address these safety concerns? Where are the police reports that were filed by the family or the shooter prior to the shooting asking them to intervene in any conflicts?

Once the fight was broken up, an arrest affidavit said witnesses saw Simpkins retrieve a black firearm from a backpack, point the firearm at Selby, and shoot.

STOP! At this exact point, all excuses end.

Past trauma, conflicts with schoolmates, bullying… these are not excuses to shoot, and America must stop saying that it is.

Pulling the trigger on a machine capable of inflicting lethal injury on another human being is the ultimate form of violence, and is not a tool to treat bullying.

America needs to wake up, toss aside these delusions that criminals are victims, and remember that victims are victims. Criminals may sometimes be victims, but they are victims who went too far. And for that, there must be punishment in a civilized society.

Although fighting in school and bullying should be dealt with strictly and quickly by school administrators, it should not and cannot be used as an excuse for violent and deadly retaliation.

Simpkins’s mother, Katrina, wrote on the GoFundMe site that her son deserves mental health care:

“My son has gone through a very traumatic experience. He needs counseling and therapy.”

I have no doubt that this is true, but he should receive it from a jail cell. At what point did the country decide that there were acceptable excuses for school shootings? Does this treatment have anything to do with the shooter’s race? Democrats and liberals are invited to speak up here. Care to comment, Mr. President?

The GoFundMe page raised just over $150 before it was shut down in a moment of sanity by the site for a violation of policy.

Carol Harrison-Lafayette, a family member, said Simpkins should not have used a gun, but then justified the use of violence as self-defense:

“The decision that he made taking the gun, we’re not justifying. That was not right but he was trying to protect himself.”

 

In a Facebook post, Simpkins’s family wrote that the shooter “has never been known to bother anyone and would do anything to help someone in need.”

I can think of a few people who may disagree with that statement today. Those people would include the family of Zacchaeus Selby. In a heartbreaking interview with WFAA News, Selby’s mother said her son placed a video call to her after being shot.

She said she saw blood rushing over his body. Per Selby’s family, the 15-year-old was shot in the arm, leg, chest, and stomach.

The child, and that is what a 15-year-old boy is, was placed in an induced coma and is on a ventilator.

Selby’s grandmother, Kathy Selby, said the media was making the shooter out to be the victim:

“They’re making Simpkins out to be the victim. My grandson is in the ICU–shot four times. My grandson is the victim.”

Sadly, it is true that the shooter is becoming the victim of the story, and that truth is wrong.

This article began with the statement that our nation has gone mad. The Macmillan Dictionary defines madness as “ideas or actions that show a lack of good judgement and careful thought.”

In America today, a police officer in Georgia is being crucified for using foot strikes to take into custody an armed, wanted criminal fleeing through a public place where many innocent civilians could have been seriously injured or killed.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old adult pulled a gun in a crowded classroom of one of our high schools and fired multiple times, seriously injuring two, minorly injuring one, and placing the lives of hundreds of others in threat of serious injury or death.

The Georgia Trooper could potentially lose his job, face criminal charges, and be held civilly liable for putting his life on the line to protect the strangers around him.

The school shooter who opened fire on children and teachers in a classroom could potentially walk free with a bag filled with money.

And the streets of America are silent.

It’s madness.

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Gov. Abbott destroys gun grabbers, says suspected Texas school shooter possessed gun ‘illegally’

October 7, 2021

 

ARLINGTON, TX – In the aftermath of the terrifying school shooting in the Mansfield School District on Wednesday, a debate reignited over gun laws in the “Lone Star State” as Gov. Abbott said the shooter possessed the firearm “illegally.”

Eighteen-year-old Timothy George Simpkins allegedly opened fire Wednesday morning at Timberview High School in Arlington, leaving several people wounded. While the gunman was being sought by police, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) addressed Texans, telling them that the suspect possessed the gun “illegally.”

After calling for prayers for the victims of the shooting, the Governor said:

“The shooter, under Texas law, it is illegal for the shooter to either possess or to have purchased the gun that was used in this crime.

“Very importantly with regard to the school shooting that took place today, as well as with really any school shooting that I’m aware of, the gun that was possessed by the shooter was possessed illegally.”

The Governor wanted to get that message out as quickly as possible, knowing that critics would try to pin the shooting on the new Texas open carry law that went into effect September 1.

The law allows Texans aged 21 and older to carry handguns in public without needing a license. While House Bill 1927 still requires background checks and excludes felons from possession, the law remains highly controversial.

The suspect who was arrested in the Arlington shooting, however, was not 21, but 18-years-old, making his possession of the gun illegal. Simpkins was captured and taken into custody within hours after the shooting.

He was booked into the Arlington jail on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shockingly, has been released on $75,000 bail.

Kevin Kolbye, the city’s assistant police chief, said the shooting began around 9:15 a.m. on the second floor of the high school. He said information indicates a fight broke out in class when the gun was pulled.

According to police, four people were injured in the shooting. Three of the victims were hospitalized, with at least one requiring surgery. There were no fatalities.

Initially fleeing the scene, Simpkins eventually turned himself in without incident.

Following the shooting, social media lit up with comments attacking Texas leaders for not protecting school children.

One Twitter user posted:

“Abbott and his donors are loving every bit of the horror, death, violence and lifetime of trauma inflicted on Texans.”

User “Trillian Astra” asked:

“How many hours before Greg Abbott is out here explaining to us how we need more guns and forced births to solve this school shooting situation?”

So far, there have been 21 school shootings this year, according to Education Week. Last year, there were only 1ten shootings while most kids were doing remote learning over COVID-19 concerns.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement:

“The number one job of our elected officials is to keep Texans safe. Today, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans once again failed — because their dangerous gun laws are making it easier than ever for just about anyone to get a gun.

“How many tragedies is it going to take before Texas Republicans put aside their agenda and start putting our families first? We are long past the time for thoughts and prayers. We can’t afford to keep waiting.”

After trying to quell the anti-firearm comments, the Governor took a moment to recognize the grief Texans feel for the victims:

“What we can say, obviously, is this, and that is we grieve for everyone who has been harmed or impacted by this in any way whatsoever. And we as state, working with the local communities, will do everything possible to ensure that the shooter is swiftly and effectively prosecuted.” 

 

 

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