Texas

Mother who survived Ponder murder-suicide tells her story on Facebook Live

Amanda Simpson spoke in a Facebook Live post about the shooting of her children, her boyfriend and herself on Wednesday by her ex-husband.
Amanda Simpson spoke in a Facebook Live post about the shooting of her children, her boyfriend and herself on Wednesday by her ex-husband. Facebook

It had been about eight hours since she survived her ex-husband's shooting spree in Ponder, north of Fort Worth, in which her three children and her boyfriend were killed.

Amanda Simpson, lying wounded in bed at a local hospital and complaining that her arms were tired, lifted her phone and went live on Facebook Wednesday evening.

"I didn't know what else to do," she begins, "but just to reach out to everybody.

"I don't know what to say. I'll tell you guys what happened another day."

At one point in the video she says the nurses and doctors want her to try and sleep, but she can't. She says she keeps reliving the shooting.

"Every time I close my eyes, I see my babies. I see them dead," she says.

Simpson begins the video by saying that she was shot earlier in the day..

"I'm doped up. The bullet is like, under shoulder blades, or under my shoulder blade," she says, adding that she also has broken ribs and a broken bone in her neck.

Then she starts trying to come to grips with what has happened.

"I've had investigator after investigator. I have to start funeral arrangements," she says, beginning to cry.

She says she's "extremely mad" at the judge who handled her divorce from Justin Painter of Fort Worth, the suspected shooter.

"Because I don't know if anybody knows, but Justin tried to commit suicide a year ago. And I made it very clear to the judge that he was mentally unstable," she says.

"And they didn't listen, so now I don't have my babies. You guys know they were my everything, my purpose to breathe."

She then worries about how she will be able to afford her children's funerals.

"I don't know what to do, I don't know how to act," she says. "I'm at a loss."

"They want me to sleep. I can't sleep. Every time I close my eyes, you guys don't want to know what I see."

She promises to tell more of her story when she can.

"If you guys really want to know what happened, I will tell you, I just can't do it today."

Near the end of the video, Simpson says Painter was "trying to get us back together, and I told him I couldn't."

"He didn't like it. He didn't like it."

Thursday morning, Simpson posted two more Facebook videos, one almost two minutes long and the second almost nine minutes.

In the first, she says she remains in pain and is taking lots of medications.

"I may be moving back to Virginia for a while," she says near the end of the video.

Minutes later, she posted again, saying the surgeon has been by to see her and said she's scheduled to have surgery Friday to remove the bullet lodged between her shoulder blade and rib cage.

She grimaces in pain as she lifts herself up slightly from her hospital bed.

"We were to going to start a life," she says referring to her boyfriend, Seth Richardson, as she fights back tears. "Justin couldn't accept that."

Richardson was 29 and from Lancaster, South Carolina, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. Painter, her ex-huband, was 39 and lived in Fort Worth. On Thursday, officials with the medical examiner's office identified the children as Odin Painter, 8; his sister, Caydence, 6; and Drake Painter, 4.

In the video, Simpson fights back tears again as she talks about her children.

"Think of the kids," she says. "I'll be fine."

She asks the news media to stop bothering her family and stalking the hospital.

"Ask me," she says referring to the news media. "I'm the one who was there and I'll answer your questions."

She says Ponder has been a wonderful community to her family, and she mentions a candlelight vigil organized for her family Wednesday evening.

"I love that town," she says.

A gofundme account has been established for Simpson.

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Denton County Sheriff's Office Capt. Orlando Hinojosa makes a statement on the murder-suicide that happened at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Ponder, north of Fort Worth.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr
Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74
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