A gunman killed himself after he opened fire at a Florida school board meeting, police have said.
Officials said 56-year-old Clay A Duke shot himself in Panama City after exchanging gunfire with Bay District’s security chief. Witnesses say Duke may have been complaining that his wife had lost her job.
Earlier reports suggested the school’s security chief, Mike Jones, fired the fatal shot, but Panama City police said, after reviewing video footage of the shooting, it was determined that the gunman shot himself.
Witnesses said the gunman walked up to a podium at the meeting, spray painted a red “V” with a circle around it on a wall and began firing. There were no other injuries.
About a dozen spectators were in the room as the board was getting ready to discuss different subjects on the agenda when a heavy, dishevelled man walked along the side of the room to the podium.
Witnesses said the man pulled out a can of spray paint and drew a red circle on the wall with a mark through it, then pulled out what looked like a pistol.
The gunman told everyone to leave “except these clowns behind the counter here”, referring to the school board members, Walters said.
School board member Ginger Littleton reportedly hit the gunman with her handbag and he appeared to push her to the ground. He then started firing randomly and many of the spectators fled.
The gunman was in a heated discussion with the school board members, witness Leon Walters said.
“I overhead some discussion about his wife needing a job,” Mr Walters said. “Or his wife had lost her job or wanting a job or something like that.” Mr Walters heard one member say, “I’ll get your wife a job or I’ll see if I can’t find her a job somewhere.”