PANAMA CITY, Florida— A 56-year-old ex-convict calmly held a school board at gunpoint and said he was seeking redress for his wife's firing before shooting at the superintendent at short range and then killing himself on Tuesday.
No bullets struck the superintendent, Bill Husfelt, who credited God for his escape late Tuesday. The gunman, Clay A. Duke, apparently created a Facebook page last week that refers to class warfare and is laced with images from the movie "V for Vendetta," in which a mysterious figure battles a totalitarian government.
"We could tell by the look in his eyes that this wasn't going to end well," Husfelt later told The Associated Press.
As the Bay City school board was in the midst of a discussion Tuesday, Duke walked to the front of the room, spray painted a red "V'' with a circle around it on the white wall, then turned and waved a handgun. He calmly ordered everyone to "hit the road" except the men on the board sitting behind a long beige desk.
Despite his shock, Bay City Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt mustered a calm voice and tried to persuade Duke to drop the gun, but Duke just shook his head, blaming officials for his wife being fired. Video showed him slowly raising the gun and leveling it at Husfelt, who pleaded "Please don't, please don't."