Trinity man gets 18 years for shooting friend

Jarvis Tyson
Jarvis Tyson
Tommy Simmons
Tommy Simmons

By Jena Johnson - email

GROVETON, TX (KTRE) - A Trinity County jury found a Trinity man guilty of aggravated assault Thursday for shooting another man three times. A district judge sentenced him to 18 years in prison.

Tommy Simmons, 23, was charged with shooting Jarvis Tyson, 36, three times on Aug. 1, 2008, on Rockville Street in Trinity.

Tyson survived the wounds, but said he has had 13 major operations and 11 procedures.

"I am a miracle," Tyson said.

Tyson said in an interview that he has forgiven Simmons for shooting him.

"The first time he shot me at my face and I did like this and I've seen that my arm was on fire. It was just like I was taking the shots."

Tyson doesn't understand why his friend shot him.

"That was his last words to me ever in life that I've seen heard from him since I've seen him in court: die (expletive)," Tyson said.

Thirteen major operations later, Tyson's scars are a constant reminder of his friend.

"I've already forgave him," Tyson said.

He says the person who sat in the courtroom is not the same friend he once knew.

"He's not what he think, what he wanted to be: a murderer," Tyson said. "He's not that. He's just a punk that picked up a gun and shot somebody."

Tyson hasn't spoken to Simmons in more than two years. He hopes in prison, Simmons can learn how to be a friend again.

"I want him to understand this much," Tyson said. "Whenever somebody is there for you and helping you that's the person you dog. That's not the person that you something to and then run off like a coward."

For the next 18 years, Simmons will be behind bars. And for the rest of Tyson's life, the scars will be a symbol of the life he almost lost.

Trinity County District Attorney Joe Ned Dean said he was satisfied with the outcome. He feels justice has been served.

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