At church in Arlington TX, prayers after the high school shooting

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On Wednesday evening, from an Arlington pulpit, prayers were offered to all those affected by the shooting earlier today at Mansfield Timberview High School.

At Cornerstone Baptist Church, Calls to God referred to students and teachers at school when police said a student shot others in a classroom, shooting a classmate and an adult.

There were prayers for parents facing their children’s new nightmares and for the police and paramedics who broke in.

There were also prayers for the suspect, a senior. Timothy Simpkins left school after the shooting and then went to police, authorities said. He was arrested on suspicion of three counts of aggravated assault.

“The reality was that it was a person who had brought his problem, his injury,” to the second floor of the high school, said Vera McKissic, director of the church’s ministry. “We don’t know what brought him there.”

McKissic considered the position of Simpkins’ mother.

“I can’t imagine the disappointment and the pain in her heart,” she said.

Timberview student Ashlyn Henson, 15, said she was on a choir field trip when the shooting occurred. Wednesday night, she was filled with fear that she might have been in danger if she had been on the school campus.

“I just want to remind everyone to come home and hug your family,” she said in a voice choked with emotion. “Just tell them you love them.”

Relatives of Simpkins, 18, said he was bullied and robbed at his school and brought a handgun for protection.

Al Curley, the church’s youth pastor, discussed possible responses to the misfortune.

“When we [got] News of the tragedy that took place at Timberview High School this morning, some people needed to hear that Jesus loves them to give a soothing balm to their aching heat and disturbing spirits.

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Emerson Clarridge covers crime and other breaking news for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He works evenings and reports on law enforcement affairs in Tarrant County. He was previously a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald and the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York.


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