December 14, a day like any other for Panama City Florida’s school board. Superintendent Bill Husfelt and the board members whom sit alongside him conduct school board business and protocol in their normal fashion. Of the 48 seats, in the first three rows of chairs available for the public, six concerned citizens listen as the day’s current school board business is being handled.
Bill Husfelt, the district’s current Superintendent, refers to a chart as he flips through the pages of a large book in front of him. He is speaking to someone in the chamber regarding, I presume, a recent question or statement that has been presented to him.
Husfelt states into the microphone something along the lines of, “…and for the e-technology, to notice, it’s on the chart that you have there and it’s part of the plan we have that works with what we have that’s gonna follow this meeting, but uh, this will be the first step in that process”.
It is then at that very moment Mr. Husfelt’s life and the lives of those whom had joined him in the chamber that day would never be the same again.
A large man then approaches the microphone and podium, provided for the public speakers, and calmly says, “I have a motion.” He then proceeds to spray paint a large red V, surrounded by a circle, on the wall behind the podium. The “circled V” is a reference to a graphic novel, recently adapted and released as a major motion picture in 2006. The main character is a mysterious revolutionary who calls himself “V” and works to destroy the totalitarian government.
The large calm man, Clay Duke, who suffers from a bi-polar disorder, then pulls out a pistol that was concealed until this point. The crowd shrieks and gasps as he states, “Anyone who is not behind this desk here, needs to leave”. Ginger Littleton, a school board member, begins to leave the room and decides to walk back into the chamber and sneak-up behind the gunman, attempting to disarm him with her purse. The attempt is unsuccessful. Littleton screams in fear as she collapses to the floor. Reports have stated, he then refers to the woman as a -stupid bitch, I am unable to confirm this. The gunman, probably seeing the face of his own wife inside the woman’s terror, tells the awkwardly brave woman to leave the room. Ginger Littleton rises to her feet, stands for a moment in awe, gathers herself and proceeds to calmly walk out of the room.
Clay Duke’s wife, an unemployed teacher, has recently received her last unemployment check. With his troubled past and prior conviction, served time in Prison for shooting his ex-wife’s tires out, while wearing a mask in 1999, Clay Duke sees no future for himself in sight. He proclaims to the room of stunned board members, “I’m gonna die today”. These are the only clearly spoken words he will share in the chamber that day. Clay Duke continues to speak but mumbles and jumps from topic to topic. His wife being fired, taxes imposed by the school board, the termination of his wife’s unemployment benefits.
The security officer, Mike Jones, peeks into the chamber and exchanges a few non-threatening words with the pacing gunman. According to reports, it is during this time, the security officer walks back to his truck to get more ammunition and his bullet-proof vest.
Of the six men sitting behind the board’s large desk, due to his constant one-on-one dialogue with the gunman, Superintendent Bill Husfelt has become Clay Duke’s center of attention. Duke then claims that Husfelt and the school board are part of a scam. Husfelt attempts to defuse the situation once more and it seems Duke has heard enough. Clay Duke takes point blank aim at Bill Husfelt and fires a shot. He then fires a shot at the floor. A third shot, fired from the security guard, strikes Duke in the back. Duke fires two more shots towards the desk and Duke is then struck with two other bullets in his torso. After falling to the floor, Duke is killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
None of the six men at the desk were struck by any of the 4 bullets fired by Duke.
Clay Duke’s wife would tell reporters, her husband was a gentle man who was troubled. She only knew he was going to try to get her some answers. She claims, “The economy and the world just got the better of him”, speaking of her late husband. She also stated that her husband Clay Duke was an excellent marksman whom rarely missed a shot, unless on purpose.
This following statement would be one of his last contributions to his Facebook page…
“My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster (V)… no… I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats… same-same… rich… they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%… the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us…”
Clay Duke’s last writings included this excerpt from the poem “The Masque of Anarchy” written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1819
“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few”