Thursday, December 16, 2010

'He had that look in his eye... he'd made up his mind he wanted to kill me.' - School Supt. Who Faced Down A Florida Gunman

Sometimes, the only thing you can do is stand by and watch what happens - while it happens – and wait for a break in the action.

The man in this video, Clay Duke, 56, of Panama City, Florida, decided to shoot members of the local school board because his wife had been fired from her job as a teacher and her unemployment benefits had been terminated.

No one has said why she was fired or why authorities terminated her unemployment benefits. Personnel matters are confidential, privileged information that is shielded from public record and discussion by officials.

Florida open meetings law, called the “Government In The Sunshine Act,” provides for executive session discussion of all such matters.

Mr. and Mrs. Duke had separated. Experts had diagnosed Mr. Duke as a mentally ill, bipolar-disordered personality.

Mr. Duke spray-painted the letter “V” on a wall with red paint and circled it. Then he told the people attending the school board meeting to leave the room.

“V” stands for vendetta in a series of movies set in the United Kingdom about the exploits of a freedom fighter who uses terroristic techniques against his enemies.

School Superintendent Bill Husfelt asked Mr. Duke to allow the board members to leave. He repeatedly told Mr. Duke he was sure he had signed the paperwork terminating his wife's employment, but was unaware of exactly who she was or what she did at the school district. He appears to have no recollection of the woman being fired or even who she may have been.

“What did she do?” He asked the question repeatedly and received no answer.

Board member Ginger Littleton attacked Mr. Duke with her purse. She had the idea she might be able to wrest the handgun, a 9 mm semi-automatic, away from him. She was unsuccessful. The huge man who walked with a waddle due to the excess weight he was carrying, flung her to the ground as if she was a rag doll.

Said Mrs. Littleton, when interviewed by television newsmen afterward, “Their shield was a 3-ring binder and their lethal weapon was a ball point pen.”

Mr. Husfelt said, “We didn't have anything...He had that look in his eyes...He'd made up his mind he wanted to kill me.”

The school safety officer, a retired police detective named Mike Jones, is heard on the tape to ask Mr. Duke, “Is that a real gun?”

He waited until the armed man was facing his direction, away from the board members, then shot him a number of times, wounding him. Mr. Duke then took his own life with a single gunshot directed at himself.

On his Facebook page, he left a message concerning his ideas about Vendetta, the ways of rich Republicans and Democrats, and being born in the United States of America.

One hates to say that no one was injured other than Mr. Duke. Mike Jones has been interviewed extensively by television reporters. He weeps openly and with no affect of guile when he tells of shooting Mr. Duke in the back. What will his children and his wife think of him doing such a thing, he wonders aloud. Then he weeps.

He told a network anchor that he volunteered to work on his day off because of a sudden change in weather. Who would have done the job had he stayed at home, as scheduled, the tv talking head asked.

"No one," Mr. Jones said. Then, of course, he wept again.

Perhaps Mr. Duke forced him to do that.


No comments:

Post a Comment