Florida Shooter—Story of A Man Failed By Our System
Clay Duke, an ex-con with bipolar disorder, once described as a person with an interest in anarchy, held five board members hostage at gunpoint. The saga ended when a guard shot Duke in his leg, and he ended his life shooting himself.
It appeared to me that the media gave much more credence to Ginger Littleton's part of the story than to the anguish and desperateness that pushed Duke over the cliff. Don't get me wrong, Ginger Littleton is my hero, as she demonstrated the courage and utter selfishness in her attempt to protect innocent people, which is so rare in our time. She was totally oblivious to her own safety when she hit Duke with her purse in an attempt to dislodge the gun from his hand.
Echoing Littleton's children's feelings, I also wonder, what was she thinking? How could Littleton put her own life in danger like she did? As it followed, the burly Duke easily pinned her on the floor and threatened to shoot her at point blank range. Yet, he did not shoot and let her go — why did he not?
The school district had hired Duke's wife Rebecca Crowder-Duke in September 2009 to teach students with special needs. She was nonetheless fired in February for not passing her probation. Duke was upset that his wife had been fired and, according to Panama City Police Chief John Van Etten, had been planning the shooting for some time.
Duke's opportunity for his vendetta came when he walked into a board meeting and sat with the audience, listening to proceedings. In the middle of discussion, Duke walked to the front of the room, spray painted a red "V" with a circle around it on the white wall, and charged the audience asking everyone but the board members to leave.Continued on the next page