School board gunman had Dec. 14 marked on calendar
Mr. Duke, a large, heavyset man in a dark pullover coat, got angry and turned around. She fell to the floor as board members pleaded with her to stop. Duke pointed the gun at her head and said, “You stupid …,” but he didn’t shoot her. She’s not sure why.
“I think the ‘you stupid’ part, I thought at that point, probably, you’re right. I was pretty stupid,” Ms. Littleton told NBC’s “Today” show early Wednesday.
Mr. Duke shot twice at Mr. Husfelt from about 8 feet away and squeezed off several more rounds before district security chief Mike Jones, a former police officer, bolted in. He exchanged gunfire with Mr. Duke and wounded him in the leg or side before Mr. Duke fatally shot himself, police Sgt. Jeff Becker said.
Somehow, no one else in the small board room was injured in the clash, which lasted several minutes. Mr. Husfelt said at least two rounds lodged in the wall behind him.
In Mr. Duke’s brief exchange with the board, he said his wife had been fired from the northern Florida district, but he did not tell Mr. Husfelt or the board who she was or what she did. Members promised to help her find a new job, but Mr. Duke just shook his head. Mr. Husfelt told Mr. Duke he didn’t remember his wife but would have be responsible for her dismissal, so the board members should be allowed to leave.
“He said his wife was fired, but we really don’t know what he was talking about,” Mr. Husfelt told the AP at his Panama City home. “I don’t think he knew what he was talking about.”
Video of the meeting shows Mr. Husfelt telling Duke, “I’ve got a feeling you want the cops to come in and kill you because you said you are going to die today.” Later, the head of more than 30 schools in the district, which includes the beach tourism and Air Force town of Panama City, said he was sure someone was going to be killed.
People gathered at Mr. Duke’s home Tuesday night asked reporters to leave. On a Facebook page under his name, the only dated entries are from Dec. 7 and 8. The page shows a cryptic message in the “About Me” section.
“My testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V) … no … I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95 percent of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats … same-same … rich … they take turns fleecing us … our few dollars … pyramiding the wealth for themselves.”
His Facebook profile picture is the red V symbol he spray-painted on the wall during the meeting, and his page includes photos from the film version “V for Vendetta,” which was also a graphic novel.
He quotes billionaire Warren Buffett, who told the New York Times in 2006, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class that’s making war and we’re winning.”
Mr. Duke was charged in October 1999 with aggravated stalking, shooting or throwing a missile into a building or vehicle and obstructing justice, according to state records. He was convicted and sentenced in January 2000 to five years in prison and was released in January 2004. Records show Mr. Duke was a licensed massage therapist before his arrest, but it wasn’t clear if he was employed.