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Woman who tried to stop Florida gunman puts purse up for auction

From Deborah Doft and Rick Martin, CNN
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School board members discuss shooting
  • Ginger Littleton is known for using her purse to try to disarm a gunman
  • Police: Clay Duke took hostages at a school board meeting Tuesday
  • Proceeds from the sale were supposed to benefit a security guard's charitable program
  • The purse has apparently been taken off the online auction site

(CNN) -- A Florida school board member who rose to fame after she tried to stop a gunman with her purse has put her handbag up for sale, though it apparently has been removed from an online auction site.

Ginger Littleton tried to use her purse to knock a gun out of the hands of the man who held her colleagues hostage at a Bay District School Board meeting in Panama City, Florida, on Tuesday. The gunman, identified by police as 56-year-old Clay Duke, ordered the room cleared except for the six board members and said he was upset that the district had fired his wife.

Littleton, who was allowed to leave the room, came back to the scene, snuck up from behind Duke and swung her purse at his hand.

The move didn't work -- Duke kept control of the gun. But for some reason, Duke didn't pull the trigger; Littleton was allowed to leave a second time.

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  • Shootings
  • Florida

On Friday, Littleton said the idea of putting her faux crocodile leather purse for sale on eBay was an easy decision after she was contacted about the idea from a local TV station on Thursday. The auction was supposed to benefit Salvage Santa, a program run by Mike Jones -- the security officer who, police said, shot Duke before Duke killed himself.

"The hero of the day was Mike Jones, who is our safety officer who took the shooter down," Littleton said. "He takes old toys and bikes and fixes them up and gives them to children who need them at Christmas."

WJHG-TV anchor Joe Moore said he came up with the idea to auction off the purse and said Littleton agreed.

"I thought, wow, what closure for everyone," Littleton said. "This was a way to tie everything up."

But Moore said eBay pulled the auction of the purse because legal requirements weren't met. He said the bidding reached $1,225 at one point.

It was not immediately clear what requirements were in question, though Moore said Jones' solo venture might not meet eBay's charity guidelines. A call to eBay was not immediately returned.

Littleton said she was not aware that the purse was no longer online. It's unclear whether the auction might proceed, but Littleton said she didn't have a hard time giving up the now famous handbag.

"Well I wasn't terribly attached to the purse," Littleton said. "So anything I could to extend the purse to the lives of other people was a good idea."

CNN's Jason Hanna, John Roberts, Brooke Baldwin and Jeanne Moos contributed to this report.