In my previous analysis of the Florida School Board shooting, I wondered where the hell the Board’s security guy was during the incident. Why he didn’t intervene sooner? Mike Jones has been speaking to the media today. “He said he got a call about the dramatic confrontation and went downstairs,” CNN reports. That doesn’t tell us much. The whole incident ran about six minutes. The crucial question: at what point did Jones arrive? We don’t get a full accounting. But what we do get is damning enough for anyone charged with protecting against just such an attack . . .

Jones did a “peeka-boo” look into the room, hoping Duke would come out. The officer, who recently received rapid response training, went to his vehicle to get a protective vest and more ammunition and returned.

“I was peeking through the crack of the door and when I saw his back and he was squared up with both hands I knew that the fight was fixing to happen,” said Jones.

But the officer said he could not get a clear line of fire on Duke.

WHAT? A man has taken the School Board hostage and Jones figured he needed a vest? What about the people inside the room who didn’t have a bullet resistant vest? Or all the cops in the world who don’t wear–or have time to retrieve—a vest?

How much ammo did Jones think he needed? If he needed more ammo to deal with one perp with a revolver, he should have been carrying that ammo. And if he forgot it, tough shit. Time to rock and roll. Clay Duke could have opened fire on the Board or bystanders at any moment.

One thing’s for sure: Jones waited until Clay discharged his weapon before opening fire. In fact, Clay was aiming his gun at Superintendent Bill Husfelt for a good three seconds before Jones fired. What, exactly, was the security man waiting for?

Jones claimed he tried to draw Clay out of that room? He must have used hand gestures—that Clay missed. I didn’t see anything indicating any effort by Jones to lure Clay. And what was Jones’ plan if he’d been successful, exactly?

Let’s hope it didn’t involve cover. ‘Cause Jones was all about concealment. A door, to be precise.

Jones said he believed the superintendent had been shot. He opened the door with one hand and opened fire with the other, wounding Duke three times in a gunfire exchange. The suspect fell to the floor and fatally shot himself in the head, police said.

WJHG reported that Jones was taken to a hospital with chest pains after the incident. The officer said he first struck Duke in the back and was worried he might go to jail. “There’s just so many things that go through your mind. It was instinct and training.”

I feel for anyone who has to endure a life-or-death drama like this one, but it must be said: Jones had bad instincts and lousy training. Most of what he had going for him was blind luck. And if that’s the way a security guy reacts to a lone gunman, I’d rather pack heat and take my chances. Or try my luck with a sharp pencil.

22 Responses to Florida School Board Shooter Security Guy Jones: Why I Didn’t Respond Sooner

  1. The more I read and hear about this the more I feel the security guy was waiting for the shooter to reload. Great site by the way.

  2. He’s mall security, not a SWAT team. He went for his vest and his .40 cal? So would I. He said he didn’t fire on the gunman becaue he didn’t have a clear line of fire? Based on the very limited video I’ve seen, I’m can’t say that he did or he didn’t. What I do know is that he never agreed to die for $20k and a tearful funeral. He’s a private citizen, no longer a cop and not a soldier. He went into harm’s way, engaged an armed maniac and came out ok. Is he a hero? No. The heros are the ones who don’t go home at the end of the day. I’m cutting him some slack. Agreed, maybe a lot of slack. But the old guy’s entitled.

  3. The officer said he first struck Duke in the back and was worried he might go to jail.

    Everything that is wrong with our country in a nutshell.

    • “The officer said he first struck Duke in the back and was worried he might go to jail.

      Everything that is wrong with our country in a nutshell.”

      +1

      • Fantastic point, TTACer. That’s the scariest part of this whole story. Not the fact that a convicted felon had a gun. Not the fact that only one person on that board had the balls to defend herself. Not the fact that nobody on the board possessed the means of self-defense. But the fact that a person who fought back feared being prosecuted for it. What the hell have they done to us?

  4. This is the perfect example of why we shouldn’t have to depend on others to defend ourselves. The ‘only ones’ keep complaining about how us mere peasants can’t be allowed to ‘take the law into our own hands’ and defend ourselves, but then whine and vacillate and have to ‘prepare’ when they are the ones who need to stand up and be counted when the SHTF. Fish or cut bait, you can’t have it both ways. Man-up or get the heck out of the way, but cut the hypocritical crap.

  5. “He’s mall security, not a SWAT team. He went for his vest and his .40 cal? So would I. He said he didn’t fire on the gunman becaue he didn’t have a clear line of fire? Based on the very limited video I’ve seen, I’m can’t say that he did or he didn’t. What I do know is that he never agreed to die for $20k and a tearful funeral. He’s a private citizen, no longer a cop and not a soldier. He went into harm’s way, engaged an armed maniac and came out ok. Is he a hero? No. The heros are the ones who don’t go home at the end of the day. I’m cutting him some slack. Agreed, maybe a lot of slack. But the old guy’s entitled.”

    I concur whole-heartedly!

  6. Jones isn’t mall security. He’s government security. He gets paid by the government to protect the people and facilities of that local government. If Jones didn’t believe this kind of event could occur, and didn’t plan for it, he shouldn’t have accepted the job. Or been hired for it. Or remained employed for it.

    Couldn’t get an angle? What the does that mean, exactly? Jones could see the perp. What you can see you can shoot. Equally, Jones could have entered the room while Clay was distracted and got himself an angle. Or done what needed doing when Clay WASN’T distracted: enter the room, engage the target and eliminate the threat.

    Would you have cut Jones the same slack if Clay had executed the woman with the handbag or any of the public servants in that room? What if his failure to act had led to the killing of someone in your family?

    I’d also like to point out that Clay’s demeanor didn’t indicate a tough opponent. He was extremely casual with his gun handling, relatively passive and not situationally aware (e.g., that nine second gap when he was looking down at his handbagger). What if Clay had been trained, prepared and armed with an AR-15? Same answer. Take. Him. Out. NOW.

    Jones waited too long. It was blind luck that it wasn’t too late for the man Clay shot from virtually point blank range. Or anyone else who could have been killed in the crossfire.

    • I watched Mike Jones interviewed on a couple of the networks this morning and there’s an exculpatory detail you left out: he wasn’t on duty. He happened to be in the building because there was an issue that was on the agenda for which a board member wanted his input. He was not there to provide security for the night.

      Additionally, he didn’t know there was only one perp. And he didn’t know whether the perp had a revolver, pistol, or AK-47.

  7. You people that judge this mans actions after the fact are horrible. Keep in mind that even if the police had responded in time to this situation they have no requirement to even enter the room their normal actions would of been to secure the perimeter and wait for a full swat team. And if every single person in the room was killed by the gunman in the mean time they would of faced no punishment for not placing themselves in harms way. You need to realize that no one is required to protect you. It is your responsibility to protect yourself. The sad part is the government doesn’t think you can choose the best means to defend yourself in a school so your choice is to plea with the shooter or hit him with a purse. Let me know how that works for you.

    • The “establish a perimeter and wait for SWAT” is old school. These days, first responders are instructed to go in hot after an active shooter. I’m not sure if a shot has to be fired for a perp to be considered an active shooter. But at the very least Jones should have taken action when Clay pointed his gun at the Board member, clearly intending to shoot (“please don’t, please don’t”).

  8. Mike Jones may not be a bonified hero, but he comes a close second in my book. He at least finally confronted the intruder and shot him. I saw some comments about him not being able to get a good angle on the guy, but we should all remember one of the rules of shooting. That rule is be aware of your target, and what is behind it. As we can clearly see from where Mr Jones was shooting from, the board members were directly behind his target putting them at equal risk of being shot by the very person trying to save them. I say cut Mr. Jones some slack. None of us knows how we will react to a situation like this untill it happens. It may have takes too much time, and yes he was lucky that nobody on the board was killed or injured, but at least he did the right thing and ended what could have been a terrible incident.

  9. Would the cop have been a hero if the gunman didn’t miss and killed everyone he shot at? I think not.

    The cop had about 4 minutes that he was justified and had the ability to stop the assault, yet he waited until after the second shot was made. He even had a looooooong warning the the gunman was about to fire yet the cop did nothing.

    The cop should have shot the instant contact was made and he was sure the gunman actually had a gun.

  10. The gunman was ignoring the cop–even had his back to him for several minutes. The excuse that there was not a good angle is BS. The had LOTS of time and LOTS of movement available to make a good angle. FAIL

    • Jones said he arrived in time to open the door as the perp was taking aim at the chairman of the board (view of gun blocked by the body). The perp began firing and he immediately entered the room and fired. By his account it was a couple seconds, not minutes. Is there testimony to the contrary?

      • In the video you can hear the cop introducing himself to the gunman several minutes before the shooting. The cop should have shot him then.

        Apparently the cop then left the room for several minutes only to arrive just before the shooting. The cop said that he didn’t shoot him in the back because he was afraid of going to jail. How sad is it when a cop does not know the rules of engagement?

  11. The Rabbi is 100 percent correct. You can hear Jones speak to the perp, and then jones retreated to get his bullet resisent vest (cuz no vest is bulletproof) and ammo (you only need one well placed shot to take out that wack job). Clay was wondering around in a daze, at which time Jones could have gained a tactical advantage on the perp without endangering the others. Jones was scared and opened fire after all HELL broke loose. These people were lucky that the perp had no clue how to handle a weapon or they would all be dead. Jones tried to help but he should find a new line of work cuz I don’t want him attempting to protect anyone ever again.

  12. I forgot to mention that there’s no jury in the FREE world that would ever convict anyone for shooting that lowlfe in the BACK (well maybe a jury in the peoples republic of California or DC or New York or Mass. would give you life cuz their nuts)but in Florida you get a free ride for taking out this nut. The perp had nothing but EVIL intentions for those citizens. If Jones had any sort of proper training he would have engaged his target and eliminated the threat when he first entered the room. There’s no type of training that teaches you to go get your vest and more ammo while those poor souls wait and hope that they aren’t executed.

  13. Its easy to be effective from behind the computer. Someday, if this happens to us, we’ll do what we can and spend the rest of our lives thinking about how we could have done it better, just like everyone in that room will.

    They were lucky, and they did fine.

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