Ginger Littleton and her purse make news headlines around world

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

Panama City -- An act of extreme courage played out on national TV, as School Board Member Ginger Littleton snuck up up from behind an armed gunman, and hit him with her purse.

She was trying to disarm him, and divert the situation but in reality, she could have been killed.

Ginger says there's no way to explain her emotions besides she thought she was going to die. She says her thought process was that if she did live, she wouldn't be able to live with herself knowing she didn't try to do something. And the former chairwoman and only female member of the Bay County School Board did do something. Now, that act is making headlines all over the world.

"I did have a plan which was to whack him with my purse, but I didn't have a plan B. I don't know why he didn't kill me at that moment. I really don't," said Ginger Littleton.

When Clay Duke pulled out a gun and ordered the room cleared of everyone but the 6 men behind the bench Tuesday afternoon, Ginger Littleton complied. But then she thought again.

"I went towards the door, and then something said 'turn back around, let's check things out.' And at that point I realized he had moved onto the desk, standing there, looking down at the seated board members, on their level, and had the gun down to his side - on his right hand side - and at that moment, it was, 'I need to do something.' Was it rational? I don't think so," said Littleton.

Not knowing what might happen, she did know her colleagues were in great peril.

"My guys were lined up like ducks in a pond, and so I could either walk away and try to live with myself because I knew something bad was going to happen. Or I could try to defend, delay, somehow divert, hoping the cavalry would come soon," said Littleton.

So she turned to her purse.

"My guys had 3 ring binders and pencils to protect themselves, so I whacked him with the purse, hoping I could get him to drop the gun. Obviously, that didn't work," said Littleton.

In seconds, Duke threw Littleton to the ground.

"After he called me a name which I probably deserved at that point, he said get out of here. And while I may be a slightly slow learner, I did think that was very good advice and I took it,” Littleton added.

But now it's not just the person, but also the purse, in the national and international spotlight.

"Right now it's probably one of the more famous hand bags in Panama City, but it served the purpose. I just wish I had left a brick or the kitchen sink in it," said Littleton.

Littleton says when she got home her three daughters look at her and said “Mom, what were you thinking?”

She says she still doesn’t know the answer to that question. But she does know she had to try to do something.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by sal Location: fort lauderdale on Dec 23, 2010 at 05:11 AM
    I have watched the video several times and from what I can tell none of the male members had even a smidgen of courage, after this brave woman risked her life to do what she could to disarm the gunman, not one of the board members moved an Iota,neither to attack the gunman while he was distracted or to help ginger after she risked her life and was struggling with the gunman? I wonder what we would have heard from them if this turned out different and this woman was harmed in trying to save their lives?
  • by say what on Dec 20, 2010 at 06:44 AM
    She is lucky she didnt send this guy into a killing frenzy.
  • by RodneyK Location: PC on Dec 16, 2010 at 02:13 PM
    I see no hero here. Didn't anyone hear Husfelt say to Littleton after she tried to be a hero "No Ginger, no."?
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:48 PM
    If Ginger Littleton had a firearm instead of just a purse, she could have ended this whole thing early on. This situation is one of the reasons that we have a 2nd Amendment. Thank God Mike Jones was there...but he almost came in too late. It was that convicted felon's weird behavior as much as Mike Jones' that all the good guys survived...and that angel who stood in front of Bill Husfelt.
  • by Debbie Location: PCB on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:15 AM
    I wish Justin Bieber was there. He would have karate kicked the gun out of his hand. Justin would have drove in on his segway and let the man have it. Oh my God, he is sooo cute. Come to PC Justin! We love you!
  • by Randy Location: CA on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:51 PM
    Brave not stupid. Had she had succeeded in knocking the gun from his hand, the others could have had enough time to subdue the man. She took a big risk and makes her a hero in my book.
  • by Mark Location: Los Angeles on Dec 15, 2010 at 09:15 PM
    Define Miss Ginger = TRUE FRIEND, we need more of them like her.
  • by dan Location: pc on Dec 15, 2010 at 08:58 PM
    Ok, let's move on, I am already sick of hearing about this..lets all turn the page, shall we?
  • by Tammy L. Location: Maryville, Tn on Dec 15, 2010 at 08:31 PM
    Ms. Littleton is a hero to me. What courage it took to do that. I did not see anybody else coming back to help. She is an amazing woman, and I hope God blesses her each and every day.
  • by Anonymous Location: nyc on Dec 15, 2010 at 08:20 PM
    Yes, she could have been killed ... but she also could have saved her colleagues. She's a hero in my book.
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