School Board Shooting Hero Speaks to INSIDE EDITION
America's newest hero speaks for the first time about shooting down the gunman who opened fire at six defenseless school board members.
Jones said, "I looked through this crack (of the door) and I could see him walking around waving a gun, so I said obviously there's going to be a gunfight. I was bringing my gun and I heard a boom. I thought it's too late, he's shot him. So I swung the door completely open, and as I stepped through the door I could see him right there, and I stepped through and fired the first round and hit him in the back."
Mike Jones, school security chief in Panama City, Florida, spoke to INSIDE EDITION with his wife Colleen by his side in the very same room where the shooting took place.
Colleen said, "I love him. He's my hero."
He saw what was happening on live public access TV. His gun was drawn and he was peaking inside the room as 56-year-old Clay Duke spray painted a V for vendetta insignia on the wall and then opened fire.
Jones said at a press conference, "They said the gun battle lasted 13 seconds, but it seemed like it was forever."
Jones, a retired cop, squeezed off seven shots. Three bullets brought down duke, who then committed suicide. Miraculously, no one else was hurt.
Here is the just-released 911 call:
Caller: Oh my gosh, he's firing!
Caller: He's firing! He's firing! I don't know...
911: Are you secure where you...
Caller: We need an ambulance! We need an ambulance!
It could have been so much worse. At the beginning of the board meeting, the room was full of kids being honored. There was even a color guard for the pledge of allegiance.
Mike Jones said, "I don't even remember the bullets. Just pop pop pop, back and forth."
The gunman, Clay Duke is an ex-con who suffered from bipolar disorder. He told the school board he was angry because his wife, Rebecca Duke, lost her job as a special needs teacher.
INSIDE EDITION spoke to the gunman's wife outside their home.
"The economy and the world just got the better of him, and along with his bipolar, it just set him up for this horrible event."
She doesn't blame the security chief who shot her husband, and addressed this message directly to Mike Jones.
"I have no animosity toward you. You are a trained professional. You did what you were trained to do," said Rebecca.
When INSIDE EDITION caught up with jones and told him what she'd said, he had this reaction.
"I appreciate that coming from his wife. I appreciate that very much from her and my heart goes out to her," said Jones.
Jones is known as Salvage Santa because he fixes up toys for needy kids during the holidays. His quick action is credited with stopping a Christmas bloodbath.