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.