This is the shocking video that shows an icy calm gunman holding members of a Florida school board hostage before shooting himself dead.
The footage shows Clay Duke, 56, spray painting the letter 'V' in red paint on the wall inside the school before ordering everyone save six male Bay District school board members to leave the room.
Then, as news cameras that were filming the meeting continue rolling, he is seen raising his gun and pointing it straight at one board member from just a few feet away.
'Please don't,' the man can be heard saying on the footage. 'Please don't.'
Duke fires - but misses, and the board member crawls out of the room on his hands and knees as Duke opens fire.
Moments later, police said, after he was wounded by a security guard, Duke turned the gun on himself. He was declared dead last night.
The astonishing footage also captures one brave woman creeping back into the room behind Duke and hitting him with her purse before he shoves her to the ground.
Duke had been sitting quietly during the earlier part of the meeting, witnesses said. But when it came time to open the floor, he stood up from his seat, walked over to the wall and took out the can of spray paint.
Spraying a symbol in the shape of a 'V' inside a red circle several feet high - similar to the logo for the film 'V for Vendetta' - he said calmly: 'Everyone inside this room, except the a******* behind that counter, hit the road.'
As he spoke he pulled out a gun and, pointing it at the school board members sitting behind the counter, added firmly to the audience members: 'Leave.'
Gasps of horror can be heard in the footage as people realise what is happening. Leon Walters, a board member who was at the meeting, said he remembered people asking: 'What are you doing?' and 'What's going on?'
Once everyone save the six male board members have left the room, the gunman begins to argue with them - apparently about his wife being fired from her job.
Seconds later, the footage shows Ginger Littleton - a female board member who had been sent from the room - sneaking back and coming up behind Duke.
Twisting the handles of her purse, she suddenly swings it as a weapon in a breathtakingly audacious attack on the gunman, trying to knock the weapon from his hand.
The pair scuffle and he shoves her to the ground, her cry of terror easily audible on the tape. But then Duke merely looks at her, the gun hanging at his side. Ms Littleton escaped with her life.
The footage then shows Duke arguing with baffled school board members about his wife.
Superintendent Bill Husfelt, speaking calmly, tried to reason with Duke, saying he could look at finding his wife a new job.
He said he had no memory of Duke's wife or her case but, in an incredible act of bravery, said it was he who had fired her.
'I'm the one who signed the papers,' he said. 'Let them go.'
He told Duke: 'I don't want anybody to get hurt. I've got the feeling that what you want, is you want the cops to come in and kill you because you are mad. Because you said you are going to die.
'But why? This isn't worth it.'
His words fall on deaf ears as, with a horrifying kind of matter-of-factness, Duke raises the gun and points it straight at Mr Husfelt's face.
'Please don't,' Mr Husfelt says, quietly and calmly, flinching only slightly. 'Please don't.'
Duke fires. It is unclear if he wounds Mr Husfelt, who cries out and goes down on his hands and knees. He is seen crawling out of the room as Duke starts shooting.
'I'm going to kill [unintelligble],' Duke says as he fires.
Despite being just a few feet away from the other men, miraculously no one was hurt - except Duke.
Bay District spokeswoman Karen Tucker said former police officer Mike Jones, the head of the school district's security, shot the gunman as he confronted the board members.
He wounded Duke, who fell to the ground - then, according to police, turned his gun on himself.
Witnesses saw Mr Jones being comforted by the other board members
Mr Jones is also a former board member, she said. 'The guy obviously had a death wish,' Ms Tucker said.
'He is a hero,' said Tommye Lou Richardson, the school district's personnel director, who was also at the meeting.
Police said they believed they knew the motive for the shooting but were not prepared to release it last night. Duke's wife was being interviewed.
Whatever the motive, Mr Husfelt said Duke almost had a smile on his face. 'He made up his mind,' Mr Husfelt told local reporters. 'You could tell he was going to die.'
Duke's Facebook page also features a profile photo showing a 'V' in a red circle - the logo used in the 2006 film 'V for Vendetta' starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving.
The movie's plot tells of a renegade known only as V, a Guy Fawkes-like figure who uses terrorism to fight against his totalitarian society.
It is also being used as a rallying call by members of Anonymous, the group of hackers carrying out revenge attacks on companies and governments that have blocked the whistleblowing website WikiLeakes.
Members of Anonymous - a very loosely organised group of young hackers, many in their teens - have adopted the Guy Fawkes masks used in the movie as their own. Some were spotted wearing them at demonstrations protesting the incarceration of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London last week.
Duke - who calls himself a 'Freedom Fighter' on his Facebook profile - includes a link to the WikiLeaks site on his page.
He cited his religious views as 'Humanism'.
The page lists Duke's favourite quote as immortalised by Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men: 'You want the truth? You can't handle the truth.'
And his biography reads: '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...'
Mr Husfelt is set to hold a press conference at 9.30am on Wednesday morning.
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