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Friday
Dec172010

Fla. School Security Officer Says He's No Hero for Stopping Gunman

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) -- Florida security officer Mike Jones has been called a hero for stopping a shooter at a school board meeting earlier this week, but he said he worried about what his community would think of him for shooting a man, even if he was armed and dangerous, in the back.

"The first time I shot him, he had his back to me...and I was like 'I'm going to jail,'" Jones said. "I've been an investigator for 20 years and then a policeman for 35 years altogether, and it still ran through my mind. I couldn't help it."

On Dec. 14, 56-year-old Clay Duke disrupted a school board meeting in Panama City, Fla., by proclaiming he had "a motion" and spray-painted a large "V" with a circle around it on the wall. Apparently intent on avenging his wife's 2008 firing, Duke aimed his weapon at the board members and fired several times, telling them he was planning to die that day.

Duke's first shot, which school Superintendent Bill Husfelt said was aimed directly at him from no more than 15 feet away, missed. That's when Jones burst into the room and began firing, shooting Duke in the back three times. When Duke hit the ground still firing, Jones hit the ground too, crawling behind the desks as gunfire erupted around him. By the time he crawled into a position to fire on Duke again, Jones said he saw Duke raise his gun to his own head and pull the trigger.

Jones spent the day after the incident with his pastor, seeking counsel on how to handle his feelings. He and his pastor came to one conclusion.

"There's only one answer for while we're alive, and that's by the grace of God," Jones said.

Duke's wife said Wednesday that Duke likely missed all the board members on purpose, but police contend his intent was to injure or kill.

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