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Attorney for teen arrested in Timberview HS shooting says there's evidence the suspect was bullied

Comments from the attorney come after Arlington's police chief said at a town hall meeting that the department had no evidence the shooting stemmed from bullying.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Family defense attorney Kim Cole is sending a strong message to the top cop in Arlington. 

She wants him to stand down on his department's preliminary conclusion about what led to a violent shooting in September at Mansfield ISD's Timberview High School. 

Cole and her co-counsel held a news conference Monday afternoon requesting Arlington's police chief to halt comments. 

Credit: WFAA TV
The family of 18-year-old shooting suspect Timothy Simpkins attended the news conference with their family attorneys.

Cole said, "With all due respect, I am not a member of law enforcement, but the role of law enforcement is not to steer an investigation to fit a particular narrative."

Cole argues that Arlington Police Chief Al Jones has no business ruling out bullying in her client's case. 

After the Timberview High School shooting, officers arrested 18-year-old Timothy Simpkins for aggravated assault. There is a video that shows the fight between Simpkins and 15-year-old shooting victim, Zacchaeus Selby, that is part of the police investigation.

Right after the gunfire in Timberview High School, the 15-year-old called his mother from school about what happened.

"He said momma, Momma I have been shot. I said, 'What?'" said Iysha Selby.

During a Mansfield ISD town hall meeting last week, Chief Jones shared publicly what his investigators preliminarily concluded about bullying playing a role in the school shooting. His officers reportedly found there were other circumstances that lead to the gunfire. 

Jones said, "Mr. Simpkins was involved in some high-risk activity and that high-risk activity lead to this shooting."

WFAA reached out to Jones about his comments. On Monday afternoon Arlington PD emailed a statement that read, "Chief Jones stands by his comments."

But Cole not only insists the chief has jumped the gun ruling out bullying, but also claims the kind of evidence of bullying she has will help prove her case.

"Text messages, social media, video, emails, yes, Snapchat, yes, all of that," said Cole. 

She and her co-counsel for the Simpkins family had planned to share part of the evidence Monday afternoon during this news conference.

Cole feels so strong about uncovering bullying issues among school districts that she started a hotline for students and parents to call: 8-BULLY-911-8.

Credit: WFAA TV
Local Attorney's promise to get help to people who call their bullying hotline at 8-BULLY-911-8 even if they choose to remain anonymous.

People calling the hotline can remain anonymous. Cole admits while offering the opportunity for callers to remain anonymous, identified callers will be able to have bullying situations addressed sooner than later. 

As far as her client, Timothy Simpkins, is concerned, he remains on home detention with plans to finish high school online. 

Cole shared that she and her co-counsel have not ruled out seeking a gag order in the future to try to stop public comments from the chief of police. 

They expressed concerns that when their client's trial starts, they hope to have a fair and impartial jury, not influenced by public opinion.