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Chief Michael Lee Jones

Bay District Schools Security and Police, Florida
Description

On December 14, 2010, Chief Michael Jones took selfless actions to prevent a tragic outcome when a gunman held hostage the male members of the Bay District School Board, the School Superintendent, and the School Board Attorney.  The business portion of the meeting had just begun when a man approached the school board at the podium where guests are allowed to speak.  He drew a symbol on the wall in red spray paint, called the board members an offensive name, and pulled a 9 mm handgun from his pocket.  He told everyone in the room to leave except the six men at the board desk on the dais.  

The gunman walked onto the dais and told the men that his wife had been fired and said “I’m gonna die today.”  The Superintendent and one of the school board members attempted to reason with the gunman.  The one female school board member slipped back onto the dais behind the gunman and tried to knock the gun from his hand with her purse, which did not work.  He knocked her to the floor calling her a vile name, but allowed her to leave the room.

The gunman then walked off the dais and started pacing back and forth in front of the desk talking about his wife losing her job, repeating that he was going to die, and spoke of going “to the grave.”  The school district staff and people released from the room made multiple frantic calls to 9-1-1.  In response, the Panama City Police Department dispatched a SWAT team.

Chief Jones was called on his cell phone and was notified that there was a man with a gun in the school board meeting room.  He ran down the stairs from his fourth floor office to the boardroom.  The gunman upon seeing him asked if he was the police and said that he should “come on in.”  Observing that the gunman was armed with a large caliber weapon and stood very close to the superintendent and board members, Chief Jones quickly left the room to obtain his bulletproof vest and a larger caliber weapon. He then returned to assess the situation.  

Chief Jones saw the gunman raise his gun to the superintendent and start shooting standing about three to four feet in front of the board table.  As the superintendent and board members took cover, Chief Jones without hesitation pulled the door open with one hand while firing a shot at the gunman with the other hand in effort to disable him.

The gunman continued to walk along the board table reaching over to shoot at those who had taken cover.  Chief Jones took another shot just as the gunman was firing on the school board attorney, causing the gunman to lose aim and miss hitting the attorney.  The gunman finally fell to the ground.  After firing several additional shots, the gunman put the gun to his own head and fired ending the gun battle.

 

Media Release

Jones earns Congressional badge

Two people standing together at the Badge of Bravery awards ceremony and smiling at the camera
Chief Michael Jones and Congressman Steve Southerland.
A man being presented with a Badge of Bravery award
Rep. Steve Southerland places the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery around Mike Jones' neck during Tuesday's meeting of the Bay District School Board. Jones wife Colleen is at left.