A gunman opened fire at a Bay County, Fla., school board meeting Tuesday afternoon, taking aim at the school’s superintendent but injuring no one before fatally shooting himself.
Clay A. Duke, 56, shot himself to death after exchanging gunfire Tuesday with Bay District's security chief, the Associated Press reported. Witnesses say Duke may have been complaining that his wife had lost her job.
Initial reports had suggested Duke was taken down by a security guard, but police later said the gunman took his own life.
Duke, who has yet to be identified publicly, was barely alive when police reached him, and he died from the gunshot wounds upon arrival at a nearby hospital, said Ruth Corley, a spokeswoman from the Bay County Sheriff Office.
School board spokeswoman Karen Tucker, who was at the meeting, described a harrowing scene.
She noticed Duke before the shooting, and described him as being erratic. He engaged in a verbal argument with another person and then, moments before unleashing gunshots, he spray-painted a red "V" in the center of a circle on a wall, possibly a nod to the movie “V For Vendetta."
One member of the school board, identified in local reports as Ginger Littleton, apparently hit the gunman with her purse and fell to the ground, but she was otherwise unharmed.
“He said he was firing his wife,” Tucker told Fox News. He then fired one errant shot at Superintendent William V. Husfelt, III.
Police responded quickly to the scene and cordoned off witnesses of the shooting to better prepare for an investigation.
The security guard, Mike Jones, who has a history of heart problems, was taken to an area hospital for heart palpitations after the shooting.