Gunman Kills Self After Opening Fire on Florida School Board

Board members fight back with purse and pistol.

ByABC News
December 14, 2010, 4:27 PM

Dec. 14, 2010— -- A gunman killed himself after opening fire on a Florida school board meeting. He was confronted by two school officials, one who attacked him with her purse, and another, the security chief, who fired his gun at the shooter.

Police said a 56-year-old man disrupted the the Bay District School Board meeting in Panama City, Fla., walked up to the podium, pulled out a can of red spray paint and painted a large letter "V" with a circle around it.

"The shooter approached the front of the board members, spray painted a symbol on the wall and fired an unknown amount of rounds," said Panama City Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Becker.

"After he painted the symbol he was confronted by a board member [Ginger Littleton] who knocked the gun with her purse," he said.

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

The gunman released all of the women and children, but held an unspecified number of men.

A fire fight broke out between the gunman and Mike Jones, a former school board member and district security chief, Becker said.

"After reviewing the evidence, the suspect took his own life," said Becker.

Police would not confirm the shooter's identity until his family had been notified. Becker would not speculate on the shooter's motive or meaning of the "V" symbol. Becker also would not confirm the total number of bullets fired.

Yanes said at least 10 shots were fired.

No other injuries were reported.

Police are watching the video Yanes shot of the confrontation.

Beth Deluzain, executive director of the Bay Education Foundation, who works on the second floor of the building said she was not told to leave and things seemed to be under control