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article imageFlorida school board gunman captured on video

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 15, 2010 in Crime
Panama City - A gunman was captured on video when he confronted members of a Florida school board and fired at them, before being shot himself.
Clay Duke, 56, sprayed a red V in a circle on a wall during a Bay District School Board meeting in Panama City on Tuesday. He then pulled out a gun and told most of those in attendance that they could leave.
He began talking to Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt and the male board members, as events were streamed live over the district’s website.
School Board member Ginger Littleton, who had left through a back entrance, came back at one point and hit Duke over the head with her handbag. He knocked her down and then allowed her to leave again.
“It could have been a real bloodbath,” she told the News Herald. “Talk about fish in a barrel. There was no place for those guys to go. There was just no way they could have gone anywhere if he had decided to take them out at that point.”
She said she couldn’t live with the consequences if she hadn’t tried to help.
Duke talked about his wife losing her job with the school system but it was unclear what that job had been.
“I was trying to get him to explain,” Husfelt told the News Herald. “I really didn’t know what he was talking about.”
He had asked Duke to let the other board members, stating that he was the one who would have signed termination papers.
Duke fired toward Husfelt, who ducked behind the desk. Mike Jones, the district's chief of security, then came in and exchanged fire with the gunman. Duke was injured and shot himself in the head.
The incident was captured on video, but please note the embedded videos are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some viewers.
He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Two bullet holes were found behind Husfelt’s desk, and he said "The good Lord was standing in front of me," according to CNN.
He also called Mike Jones a hero for his actions.
"We could've had this place like Fort Knox and he would've shot us when we came out of the building,” he told the News Herald.
"There was nothing we could've done to stop him. It was a tragedy and we're very thankful and blessed to be alive."
Panama City Deputy Police Chief Robert Colbert said Duke’s wife had had lost her job as a teacher earlier this year, and that the man had come to the meeting with an extra clip, filled, in his back pocket and another box of ammunition for his pistol.
The Washington Post reported that Panama City Police Chief John Van Etten said Tuesday's date had been circled on a calendar found in the trailer where Duke lived.
In 1999 Duke was convicted of aggravated stalking and shooting into a vehicle.
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