Oct 6, 2021
Arlington Texas Timberview High School Shooting Press Conference Transcript
A shooting took place at a high school in Arlington, Texas on October 6, 2o21. Read the transcript of the news briefing providing updates on the shooting here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
All right. Does everybody have a white balance and do we need one more mic check before we get started? All right. Just one more time, I want to give you the names and spellings of everybody you’re going to be hearing from. First up, again, will be Assistant Chief, Kevin Kolbye. That’s K-O-L-B-Y-E on the last name, Assistant Chief of Police for Arlington PD. Following him will be Chief Daniel Scesney, that’s S-C-E-S-N-E-Y. He is the chief of police for Grand Prairie. Follow him will be Chief Tarcy Aaron, T-A-R-C-Y A-A-R-O-N, he is the chief of police for the City of Mansfield. And then following him will be Donald Williams, common spelling, who is the associate superintendent of communications for Mansfield ISD. They’ll make some statements first and then we’ll open it up for questions after that.
Kevin Kolbye: (01:05)
All right, good afternoon. I appreciate you guys staying out here in this heat and this weather. I want to start off with some good news on our victims. All three victims are okay. At this point in time, I want to tell you that one of the victims was a student. He went into surgery. He is in ICU. He is out of surgery at this point in time. That’s great news. We need to make sure that we keep him in thoughts and prayers. The families. We have an adult male who is not in surgery, but is in good condition, and then we have a female that was also maybe grazed by a bullet or injured in some way. I don’t have all the facts. That person is expected to be released hopefully today.
Kevin Kolbye: (01:47)
So two will remain in the hospital, which continue to make, hopefully, a speedy recovery. Again, we need to make sure that we pray for them and also pray for their families. The good news is our suspect is in custody. Timothy Simpksons is in custody. He is currently in the police station at Odd Cribs in Arlington, Texas, and detectives are talking to him at this point in time. He will be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, three counts. I also wanted to say the good news is that all our students have now been evacuated from the school. We had about 1,700 students here at [inaudible 00:02:32] High School, and we’re glad that they’re safe. We’re trying to reunite them with their families and ensure that we have victim services.
Kevin Kolbye: (02:41)
We know that this is a tragedy, a traumatic incident for these high school kids, so we have a tremendous amount of FBI, Arlington Police Department victim services that will hopefully talk with them and help them through this tragic incident. Also, I want you to know that we’ve increased security with additional police officers at all of our schools in Arlington. Now, all of the schools have been locked out, not locked in, locked out, meaning, nobody can get into the schools in Arlington, in the Mansfield Independent School District. We are going to immediately release that and make sure that the parents can come in and they can be released. A lockout means that they are free to move within the school itself, but nobody can enter those schools.
Kevin Kolbye: (03:32)
This is going to be a longterm, continuing investigation in processing the crime scene. So I will tell you again, I’m very proud to be part of this community, the Grand Prairie Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Mansfield Police Department, Mansfield Independent School District and our federal partners. So it’s going to be a long term criminal investigation, which the Arlington Police Department will be the lead on the criminal side. The FBI is helping us here and will process the crime scene. We have ATF that we do have a weapon that was recovered. It was recovered in the streets in Grand Prairie. Grand Prairie Police Department recovered that, it is going to be turned over to ATF to run ballistics. More to come on that.
Kevin Kolbye: (04:22)
I also just want to talk a little bit about social media. We’ve been having a lot of social media comments about threats to our schools from young kids. I want the message to be out there that this is not something to continue. We will investigate you. Our partners will be able to investigate you if you’re not living in our city and we will bring you to a successful prosecution. So I’m just pleading with the community out there to try to stop any type of threats that are coming through social media and I’m going to turn it over to Chief Scesney.
Daniel Scesney: (05:02)
Thank you, Kevin. Chief Scesney with the Grand Prairie Police. Just a couple of comments I’d like to add and to underscore. Our teams have finished searching the school. We didn’t find any additional threats. The suspect is in custody. I really want to underscore a point that Chief Kolbye just made. A lot of our law enforcement resources were being diverted with inaccurate social media threats. I’ve got a call to action for parents, take a look at your kid’s social media. If they’re putting out threats on their schools, they’re going to be arrested, and they’re going to be prosecuted. It’s very important that you get involved with your kid’s social media. During the entire onset of this event, our teams are being divided away from leads of our suspect location with inaccurate and information at schools all over North Texas.
Daniel Scesney: (05:44)
So it would be very helpful to us for our parents to take a look at their social media accounts of their kids. Last thing I’ll say is the collaborative effort with the Arlington Police Department, the Grand Prairie Police Department, the Marshalls North Texas Fugitive Taskforce and others, Mansfield, Mansfield ISD worked very well together to get the suspect into custody very quickly. I can tell you, there is no danger to the public. The public is safe, and the suspect is in custody. As it relates to the weapon mentioned by Chief Kolbye, our officers have transported a weapon they located in the street.
Daniel Scesney: (06:21)
We cannot confirm yet that it is the weapon. We believe it may be the weapon. It is being transported to our partners at the alcohol, tobacco and firearms team to do some analysis to determine if it’s the right weapon. Chief Kolbye’s team and Chief Jones with the Arlington Police is going to run lead on any investigative efforts. Grand Prairie Police Department will be here to support them however we can. With that, thank you.
Speaker 4: (06:47)
[inaudible 00:06:47] handguns?
Daniel Scesney: (06:47)
It was a handgun. .45 caliber weapon that was located. Thank you.
Tarcy Aaron: (06:52)
Thanks Chief Scesney. Chief Aaron from the City of Mansfield. Again, I want to echo that I hope what you see here is the response that you’re going to get from Texas agencies. We’re going to respond appropriately whenever the call comes out and we’re going to respond in unified response. What that means is that you just saw that the Mansfield Police Department’s here standing alongside of the Mansfield ISD with Grand Prairie and Arlington. All of our federal partners are here. We brought this to a very quick resolve and without incident. I think it should be noted that that everybody responded well and they responded appropriately in this, and I want to thank each and every one of y’all for being here.
Tarcy Aaron: (07:31)
I also want to thank our viewers for sending us those leads. And again, I would have to echo the same thing in our a city. If there is those false allegations that are going on social media, we are not going to tie up resources to those, we are going to prosecute those. We can’t tie up resources, especially in an event like this to track down unsubstantiated leads. So I would ask you to please continue to be involved in your children’s lives, just like the chiefs are saying. Be involved in what’s going on in your schools and know, for sure, that we are going to be standing here side by side with you. Thank y’all very much for your participation and thank all of y’all for being here.
Donald Williams: (08:12)
Donald Williams, Mansfield ISD, associate superintendent for communications. I want to begin by stating that it’s been pretty impressive to see the tremendous work that has happened with the local law enforcement agencies. They’ve worked extremely well to be able to bring this particular situation to its closure. The next thing I want to mention as it relates to the reunification process for our students. We have 1,700 students that are heading over to the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts. We’re working through that process with our parents and our students right now. We have counseling support that’s there. We also have our student nutrition team that’s there as well to be able to help our parents be as comfortable as possible.
Donald Williams: (08:54)
Another bit of information that we want to put out for our families as well is we’re going to cancel all of our after school activities for today. We want to make sure that we’re putting our resources where they’re most needed at this particular time. And that’s to be able to take care of the students and the children and the parents of the Timberview High School [inaudible 00:09:13]. So that information is going to be going out here shortly, if you haven’t already got that at this particular time. Again, so grateful for the efforts of law enforcement as far as being able to help us work through this particular process, we will continue to update you from a Mansfield ISD standpoint as we get more information. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (09:31)
And before we open to questions, would either one of you be able to speak maybe to what you can to the nature of how we took the suspect into custody?
Kevin Kolbye: (09:41)
The question came up of how we took the suspect into custody. We had some communication with his attorney. He did report to an attorney, was talking to our homicide detectives and he drove him into our police station and we took him into custody just within the past 15 minutes.
Speaker 7: (10:02)
So he turned himself in, is what you’re telling us?
Kevin Kolbye: (10:05)
He turned himself in with an attorney, yes.
Speaker 1: (10:10)
Guys, we can take a few questions.
Speaker 8: (10:12)
For Mansfield ISD, does this high school mental detectors and also, there’s a lot of comments from parents saying that they are not comfortable with the way bullying incidents are handled. Can you just comment on how those incidents are handled? I mean, we don’t know if this was tied to that.
Donald Williams: (10:29)
Yes, what I will say to that is we take the safety and security of our students and our faculty and staff seriously. And to your specific question as it relates to metal sectors, no, ma’am, we do not have those in place, but the entire situation will be assessed and evaluated. And for us as a district, we’re always looking at ways in which we can improve and get better in looking at that. But from the standpoint, we have law enforcement officers on every single one of our campuses.
Donald Williams: (10:54)
I think that’s important for the community to know, and that’s been something that’s been a tremendous benefit for us as a school district. Once this particular incident occurred, the response time for our law enforcement officer that was there, present and on the campus itself was pretty swift from that standpoint, so that’s where we’re at. We do not have metal detectors, but we do have law enforcement officers on every single one of our campuses.
Speaker 8: (11:17)
So what is the plan to make sure nothing like this happens again?
Donald Williams: (11:22)
What I spoke to earlier, we’re going to reassess and evaluate the situation itself to look and see did we have any gaps as it relates to what transpired? Looking at getting better, so that’s where we’re going to move as far as evaluating what transpired, what took place and move forward from there.
Speaker 8: (11:37)
Are metal detectors in the future or a [inaudible 00:11:40] policy on the table?
Donald Williams: (11:42)
Well, what I can say as it relates to metal detectors. About three and a half years ago, we created a safety committee in which that was comprised of parents, students, community members, teachers, faculty, and staff, and the number one thing, the number one recommendation that came out of that particular taskforce was they wanted to have law enforcement officers on every campus. So that’s where we moved at that particular point in time. Where we’re at today is the fact that we’re going to assess and evaluate every aspect of what transpired and then make recommendations as far as how we’re going to move forward.
Speaker 9: (12:18)
The students involved in the fight in the video and the suspect, can you confirm, were they currently enrolled or were they fully enrolled?
Donald Williams: (12:25)
Yes, they were enrolled in Timberview High School. That’s correct.
Speaker 10: (12:28)
In the video, there’s a kid with a white shirt, is that the suspect? Can you confirm that for us?
Donald Williams: (12:33)
I can’t speak to that.
Speaker 10: (12:33)
Can you Chief? [inaudible 00:12:35] that video’s been out. We want to confirm that [inaudible 00:12:37] and that he’s the suspect wearing a white shirt.
Kevin Kolbye: (12:39)
I’ve seen the video and I cannot confirm that at this point in time, because I don’t know which one was who.
Speaker 12: (12:44)
Some of the parents mentioned that the fight actually took place yesterday. Is this something that you guys knew about?
Kevin Kolbye: (12:49)
You want to comment on that? Do you know? I don’t have any information on that right now.
Speaker 13: (13:01)
[inaudible 00:13:01] what you said earlier today, Chief, about what that video showcased. There was an act of bullying, there was fighting in that classroom and subsequent [inaudible 00:13:10] a weapon was presented and used in that classroom in that school. So our understanding is, and to your knowledge, based on the investigation, did all of this start from two kids fighting each other based on bullying and he brought that gun in because of that?
Kevin Kolbye: (13:25)
That’s something that hopefully that we’ll find out during our investigation, but I want to go back to Mansfield Independent School District Police. They did really good job. They have two police officers here, and when the police officers heard over the radio that there was a teacher that was in distress, the police officers immediately went to that classroom. And I can tell you that one police officer heard the shots as he was going up there. So I can you that they were on scene, quickly responded to this incident in trying to render aid to those that were injured.
Speaker 9: (14:03)
And just to be clear, that video was that from today? Is it possible that that could have been yesterday or the day before? Are we 100% sure that that video’s from today?
Kevin Kolbye: (14:14)
I’m not 100% sure. All I know is I saw that video and that’s what was presented to me.
Speaker 14: (14:19)
Where was the gun when the fight broke out? Did the student have it or did he have it hidden somewhere, or was there a lag time after the fight and the time the gun showed up?
Kevin Kolbye: (14:28)
I don’t have that information. Sorry.
Speaker 8: (14:31)
And do you know how long it took the officers to get there? You mentioned it was swift. You said it was swift but do you have a precise time?
Kevin Kolbye: (14:38)
I’m told that the officers responded to a distress call over the radio prior to a shooting as I’m being told that the officers, when they respond, responded in the area they heard shots fired. And so, my understanding is the response by Mansfield Independent School District. It was it within minutes.
Speaker 15: (14:59)
Was there an alarm that went off inside to warn students?
Kevin Kolbye: (15:04)
I’m not sure on the procedure of this school. So do you have any comments? We don’t have that information.
Speaker 16: (15:15)
Can you talk about the disciplinary action for the students that are involved in a fight? Does it take a day to get them suspended or what happens?
Donald Williams: (15:20)
We’re going to continue to investigate this particular situation and the students that are involved will be dealt with in accordance to our student code of conduct, and that’s the way that that whole process is handled from that standpoint. They’ve already referenced as it relates to the student that was actually involved in the shooting itself. The individual has been apprehended and is currently in custody.
Speaker 16: (15:42)
But what are some of the things that students that are involved in fights can face?
Donald Williams: (15:46)
It just depends on the nature of what the situation is, but I can assure you that, for us, within Mansfield ISD we will deal with students based on what transpired and they will be dealt with based on the student code of conduct.
Speaker 17: (15:57)
Have you had any other incidents where a gun was found in the school within the last couple years? And if so, what did you do about it to change Protocols?
Donald Williams: (16:06)
I would have to dig into that a little bit more as it relates to that particular specific question, and we can definitely get back with you as it relates to that question
Speaker 13: (16:15)
Do you have any information that you can confirm that there were students who had, “warned of this escalation between [inaudible 00:16:25] and that a weapon was brought to this school?”
Donald Williams: (16:27)
I do not have that information at this particular point in time, but I can assure you that we’re doing a thorough intensive investigation as it relates to what transpired and what happened.
Speaker 18: (16:36)
What’s the plan for the school for the rest of the week [inaudible 00:16:38]?
Donald Williams: (16:39)
Well, what we’ve done and I shared it earlier is the fact that we’ve canceled all of our afterschool activities at this particular time. We’re in the middle of this being a very fluid process. We’re in the middle of it. We’re trying to get all 1,700 of our students home as it relates with their parents. So it’s a process that we’re continuing to assess and evaluate today, and we’ll put out additional communication as we know, more information.
Speaker 13: (17:04)
Both chiefs [inaudible 00:17:06] on the proximity of where this gun was found, in the Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Arlington area, you said it was found in Grand Prairie, but where in proximity?
Daniel Scesney: (17:14)
Within a couple miles of here.
Speaker 13: (17:15)
Within two miles?
Daniel Scesney: (17:16)
Speaker 13: (17:18)
The major thorough fair that’s in the middle of the street?
Daniel Scesney: (17:20)
It was on England Parkway, England Parkway.
Kevin Kolbye: (17:27)
Look, I just want to close and again, thank you everyone for being here. This will be our last press conference here. Again, I want to emphasize that there’s a lot of social media that’s being pushed out right now. Some of the things that we’re actually seeing and investigating is not correct information. So I’ve tried to give you the most up to date, correct information as I can, and then any further information during the investigation will come out of our media office. So again, thank you guys for being here and staying with us. One last question.
Speaker 19: (17:59)
One more question. Was there technology in the school employed to limit cell phones coming in or out, cell phones signals coming in or out?
Speaker 1: (18:08)
[inaudible 00:18:08] technology in the school that would inhibit cell phone signals coming in or out [inaudible 00:18:15].
Donald Williams: (18:14)
Ask that question again.
Speaker 19: (18:15)
Was there technology used at the school to stop cell phone signals from coming in and out during the event?
Donald Williams: (18:22)
Speaker 19: (18:23)
There was not?
Speaker 1: (18:26)
All right, thanks everybody. And then once the suspect has been formally booked and we get the all clear from our investigators we’ll release the booking photo to you guys, and that will be coming from us. Like they said, any other followups, please filter through our office. We’ll be pushing out news releases with any additional details, and thank you guys again.
Speaker 19: (18:45)
Do you know who the [inaudible 00:18:46]?
Speaker 1: (18:46)