Survivors Recount 'Pure Terror,' Uncanny Heroism in Deadly Florida School Board Shooting

When offered escape, one woman returned to fight gunman with handbag instead.

ByABC News
December 14, 2010, 4:27 PM

Dec. 15, 2010— -- After a man pulled a gun at a Florida school board meeting Tuesday, one of the board members had a chance to escape. But instead of fleeing, Ginger Littleton said she thought of her fellow board members, turned back and put her life on the line, attacking the gunman with her purse.

"I had the choice of leaving," Littleton told "Good Morning America" today. "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 the gunman, later identified as 56-year-old Clay Duke, before smacking his arm with her purse. Duke overpowered Littleton but let her go again.

The incident began Tuesday, when according to police, Duke disrupted the school board meeting by proclaiming he had "a motion" and spray-painted a large "V" with a circle around it on the wall. When he turned back around, Duke threatened the room with a gun.

"The painting was disconcerting, the gun was pure terror," Littleton said.

Inside the meeting was reporter Nadeen Yanes of ABC affiliate WMBB-TV, who shot the exclusive video of the incident.

In the video, Duke is seen dismissing the women and children from the room before school superintendent Bill Husfelt tried to talk Duke out of the attack, or at least letting the other board members go.

"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 the gunman trained his weapon on Husfelt, Husfelt shifted in his seat and asked, "Please don't. Please don't. Please."