But police aren't buying it and said that while Duke's motive may never fully be known, there's little doubt he went into that school board meeting with anything but mayhem on his mind.
"I stick by my point that I believe Mr. Duke went there with a purpose and that purpose was to do harm and possibly kill other individuals," Panama City Police Deputy Chief Robert Colbert told "Good Morning America." "I understand that that may be a part of the reasoning process for her [Rebecca Duke] that he went there to scare people, but I believe law enforcement is operating on the full notion that he went there to harm or kill superintendent [Bill] Husfelt."
Duke's wife said he was bipolar and took medication for mental health issues. Colbert said he could not specifically confirm Duke's condition, but mental issues "probably" played a part.
Police said Duke had planned the attack carefully, carrying two full clips of bullets. The date of the attack, Dec. 14, was circled in red on a calendar in Duke's home, investigators said. Before he was wounded, police said Duke fired 14 shots -- none of them hitting their targets.
Jones isn't the only person in that room being hailed a hero. School board member Ginger Littleton was given the chance to escape, but instead chose to attack Duke with her purse.
In the video, Duke is seen dismissing the women and children from the room before Husfelt tried to talk Duke out of the attack, or at least letting the other board members go.
But after she was dismissed and given the chance to leave with her life, Littleton stopped and thought about her friends who were still in danger. She turned back, snuck up and swatted his hand holding the pistol with her purse.
"I had the choice of leaving," Littleton told "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "When I turned back around he was up on the level with my guys and they were all sitting there lined up like ducks in a pond ... completely defenseless.
"So I could either walk away, thinking something bad was going to happen and try to live with myself, or I could try to do something to divert or delay. So my bag was what I had and so that's what I did," Littleton said.
In a video that was recording the board meeting, Littleton is seen sneaking up behind Duke before smacking his arm with her purse. Duke overpowered Littleton but let her go again.
Then, school superintendent Husfelt attempted to talk Duke out of the attack, or at least into allowing others to leave.
"Will you let them go? You're obviously upset at me, so why are they here?" Husfelt said in the video. "This isn't worth it. This is a problem."
Then, when Duke trained his weapon on Husfelt, Husfelt shifted in his seat and asked, "Please don't. Please don't. Please."