Video: Gunman kills himself at Florida school meeting
Wednesday 15 December 2010
A gunman shot himself at a school board meeting in Florida after he walked up to a podium, spray painted a red "V" with a circle around it and began firing, a school official said.
Panama City Police Sgt. Jeff Becker says after reviewing video footage of Tuesday's shooting, the gunman fatally shot himself.
He was not shot by a security guard, as had been previously reported. There were no other injuries. The gunman's name has not been released.
"The guy obviously had a death wish," Bay District spokeswoman Karen Tucker said.
About a dozen spectators were in the room as the board was getting ready to discuss different subjects on the agenda when a heavy, disheveled man walked along the side of the room to the podium, Leon Walters, who was in attendance, told The Associated Press.
Reporter Daniel Carson of the Panama City News Herald told his paper that he had noticed the man during the meeting and he didn't appear agitated.
Walters said the man pulled out a can of spray paint and drew a red circle on the wall with a mark through it. Carson and other witnesses described it as the letter "V." The man then pulled out what looked like a pistol.
"What are you doing?" someone asked, Walters recalled. "What's going on?"
The gunman told everyone to leave "except these clowns behind the counter here," referring to the school board members, Walters said.
Carson told his paper that school board member Ginger Littleton hit the gunman with her purse and he appeared to push her to the ground. He then started firing randomly and many of the spectators fled.
Walters left the room but stayed behind one of the doors. He called police and was peeking inside.
The gunman was in a heated discussion with the school board members, Walters said.
"I overhead some discussion about his wife needing a job," Walters said. "Or his wife had lost her job or wanting a job or something like that."
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."
Carson said he also spied through the door. When he closed it, Carson said he heard two shots. He went back inside and it appeared that the gunman was dead, having shot himself.
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