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Texas school shooting trial: Eyewitnesses describe chaos on first day

Timothy Simpkins faces three counts of attempted murder in the 2021 shooting at Mansfield ISD’s Timberview High School.

FORT WORTH, Texas — The trial of a Mansfield-Timberview High School student charged with attempted murder in the 2021 shooting is ongoing.

Overall, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office filed charges. Timothy Simpkins He was charged with three counts of attempted death penalty in the October 6, 2021 incident.

First day

Simpkins’ attorneys did not give opening statements to jurors when the trial began in Tarrant County Courthouse in Fort Worth on Monday morning, July 17.

After outlining the case in his opening statement, the prosecutor called the first witness out of a long list of people who could be called to testify in the case.

“I was trying to get help,” said Mrs. Altman, an English teacher at Timberview High School who testified as the state’s first witness. As Mrs. Altman held back tears on her witness stand, she recounted a fight between students that led to a school shooting. It happened in her classroom.

Prosecutors are using cell phone video as part of the evidence in their trial against Simpkins.

Altman told jurors that he let student Zach Selby into the classroom even though he was late. She also shared that he hadn’t attended enough classes to complete a threat assessment assessment. Altman said in court that Selby quickly approached Simpkins in the classroom, where a fight ensued that culminated in Simpkins allegedly firing.

“It was like, ‘Get off, they’re shooting at you,'” Altman testified. “Then I was kind of shocked and stopped for a moment. I realized I needed to call 911.”

During the game, Timberview coach Dean Boyd responded to Altman’s call for help. When Boyd arrives at her classroom, she stops the quarrel between Simpkins and Selby.

During his testimony, the assistant district attorney called Mr. Simpkins down from the witness stand and demonstrated to jurors Simpkins’ body language and how he warned teachers and students.

“He was jumping and took a gun out of his waistband and told me I had a gun and run away,” Boyd said.

The shooting wounded Selby, and one of his classmates was bludgeoned by a bullet.

Prosecutors also brought Timberview English teacher Calvin Pettit to the stand to testify to jurors about gunshot wounds. Pettit’s classroom is across the Altman hallway. I also heard her calling for her help.

One of the bullets hit Pettit, who immediately collapsed. After he regained his composure, he found out about his own injury.

“I was leaning against the wall and felt a lot of pressure on my back, so I put my hand behind my back and it was covered in blood,” Pettit said.

Pettit also revealed in court that the shooting left him with post-traumatic stress that affected his ability to enjoy his passion for education. He was taken to the emergency room after the shooting and underwent surgery, but so far the bullet he was shot remains lodged in his shoulder.

Despite skipping opening statements, Simpkins’ attorneys repeatedly challenged the testimony of prosecution witnesses.

Defense attorneys are expected to argue that the shooting was the result of Simpkins being bullied at school. But prosecutors wrote in court documents that Simpkins has a reputation as “the largest cannabis dealer” at Timberview.

Selby is listed as a possible witness.

There has been no announcement yet that Simpkins’ attorney will bring Simpkins to the witness stand as part of his defense.

Monday’s testimony ended with an FBI statement that also responded to the shooting.

The prosecution’s list of witnesses includes more than 40 local police officers, 11 FBI agents, and at least 40 civilians, including Timberview teachers and students.

the 2nd day

On the second day of the trial, prosecutors showed jurors a dramatic video of the shooting inside Timberview. The video was hard to watch, and the courtroom fell silent while it played.

Prosecutors said the video showed Simpkins shooting Selby dead in the hallway after a fistfight.

Prosecution witnesses on Tuesday included students and teachers like coach Jeremy Walker who rushed into the office to find a frightened colleague.

“I literally crawled on the floor. I heard her because she was crying. So I just crawled over to her and held her hand and we cried together,” Walker said. said.

Student Shanya McNeely said she was struck by a bullet while running for safety.

“As I was running, I immediately felt a flash of light. I felt a really fast burn, so I stopped there, but the teacher kept saying I had to go, I had to go,” McNeely said. said.

Prosecutors dropped the case late Tuesday morning.

Selby appeared before a judge before the court resumed in the afternoon. Defense attorneys accused Selby of intimidating witnesses and posting social posts.

Defense attorneys are scheduled to speak on Wednesday. Witnesses for the defense will include Selby’s former teacher.

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/witnesses-describe-chaos-timberview-high-school-first-day-timothy-simpkins-trial/287-bd27ce90-a3ff-4472-a0fe-bb1196b2a17b Texas school shooting trial: Eyewitnesses describe chaos on first day

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