Gunman killed at Florida school meeting :Official

Bay District spokeswoman Karen Tucker said yesterday former police officer Mike Jones, the head of the school district's security, shot the gunman as he confronted board members. Jones is also a former board member, she said.

There were no other injuries. The gunman's name has not been released. "The guy obviously had a death wish," 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 Jones, the security guard, had entered through another door and shot the gunman in the head. He said Jones was comforted by his colleagues and led away.

"He is a hero," said Tommye Lou Richardson, the school district's personnel director, who was also at the meeting.

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