Security Guard Shot at Conservative Family Research Council in Washington D.C.

One again, an all-too-familiar headline. Someone with a gun opening fire. This time: at the conservative Family Research Council’s office in downtown Washington, D.C, in an attack that officials are treating as domestic terrorism:

A security guard at the Family Research Council was shot and wounded Wednesday morning after a scuffle with a man who expressed disagreement with the group’s conservative views in the lobby of the group’s headquarters in downtown Washington, authorities said.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the shooter walked into the lobby of the building at about 10:45 and was confronted by the security guard as if the guard were asking him where he was going.

The man then took out a gun and opened fire on the guard, Lanier said. The guard and others wrestled the man to the ground, disarmed him and waited for police, she said. The guard was then taken to the hospital and is in stable condition, the chief said. FBI officials said the guard was shot in the arm.

“The security guard here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” Lanier said. ”He did his job. The person never made it past the front.”

The shooter is in FBI custody and has not yet been charged, authorities said. A law enforcement official said at one point in the scuffle, the shooter expressed views that differed from those of the Family Research Council. The official also said the shooter was carrying a bag that had a Chick-Fil-A bag inside. Chick-Fil-A’s chief executive has expressed similar views against same-sex marriage as the Research Council.

Although authorities did not identify the alleged shooter, two law enforcement officials said he was Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon. He has not been charged.

Authorities also did not name the security guard. But Darin Miller, a spokesman for the Family Research Council, said he was Leo Johnson, who works for the council and not for a private security agency.

The Family Research Council is a conservative organization that deals in issues of faith, family and freedom, according to its Web site. The site says the organization is against abortion and euthanasia and considers homosexuality to be a sin.

Fox News:

The guard, Leo Johnson, was shot in the arm and was conscious after the shooting and in stable condition. Corkins was being questioned by the FBI, sources said. Sources said he lives in Herndon, Va.

The suspect “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News.

Sources also said the gunman may have been carrying a bag from Chick-fil-A, the embattled fast-food restaurant whose president came under fire from gay activists after he said he did not agree with same-sex marriage.

Sources told Fox News that after guard took away his gun, the suspect said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”

Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism, although James McJunkin, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said authorities do not yet know the gunman’s motive.

“We don’t know enough about him or his circumstances to determine what his connection is to this group [the research council] or his mental state, or what he was doing or thinking of doing,” McJunkin said. “So we’re going to try to sort this all out, pull the evidence together, do all the interviews we can.”

Corkins had been volunteering for about the past six months at The DC Center for the LGBT Community, said David Mariner, executive director of the community center, which is in Northwest Washington. He usually staffed the center’s front desk on Saturdays, and his most recent shift was about two weeks ago.

LGBY groups have released this joint statement:

LGBT ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING THE SHOOTING AT FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL (FRC)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 – 3:30pm by GLAAD
Joint statement regarding shooting at Family Research Council (FRC) from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations

We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers.

The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.

Michael Adams
Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Tico Almeida
President, Freedom to Work

Katie Belanger
Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin

Wayne Besen
Founding Executive Director, Truth Wins Out

A.J. Bockelman
Executive Director, PROMO

Sharon Brackett
Board Chair, Gender Rights Maryland

Carly Burton
Deputy Director, MassEquality

Dr. Eliza Byard
Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Jennifer Chrisler
Executive Director, Family Equality Council

Brad Clark
Executive Director, One Colorado

R. Clarke Cooper
Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans

Dwayne Crenshaw
Executive Director, San Diego LGBT Pride

Heather Cronk
Managing Director, GetEQUAL

Jerame Davis
Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

Emily Dievendorf
Director of Policy, Equality Michigan

James Esseks
Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project

Lynn A. Faria
Interim Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

Jenna Frazzini
Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon

Joshua A. Friedes
Spokesperson, Equal Rights Washington

Herndon Graddick
President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Chad Griffin
President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

Jody M. Huckaby
Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)

Mara Keisling
Executive Director, National Center of Transgender Equality

Kate Kendell
Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

Abbe Land
Executive Director & CEO, The Trevor Project

Gregory Lewis
Executive Director, True Colors Fund

Eileen Ma
Executive Director, API Equality-LA

David Mariner
Executive Director, The DC Center for the LGBT Community

Ineke Mushovic
Executive Director, Movement Advancement Project

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

Darlene Nipper
Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Donna Red Wing
Executive Director, One Iowa

Marisa Richmond, Ph.D.
President, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)

Aubrey Sarvis
Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Josh Seefried
Co-Director, OutServe

Peggy Shorey
Executive Director, Pride at Work

Brian Silva
Executive Director, Marriage Equality USA

Lee Swislow
Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.
Executive Director, Immigration Equality

Shane Windmeyer
Executive Director, Campus Pride

Chuck Wolfe
President & CEO, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute

Evan Wolfson
President, Freedom to Marry

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9 Comments

  1. how many shootings before we are no longer alarmed? Is this the 3rd or fourth senseless-public-shooting in the last 30 days?

  2. I wish to say that it would be absurd to try and link this gunman with gay rights or gay marriage movements or with Democrats or Liberals. And so I would hope that people would see how absurd it is for both sides to try and link other such tragedies politically, allowing us to get past using these tragedies to score political points. Unfortunately, I have no illusions on that score.

  3. The groups who immediately rejected violence as political expression are to be commended. But I am going to disagree with David Summers. I think there are more pieces of information which seem to clearly suggest ties between Mr. Corkins and groups often supporting the Democratic Party than the suggested ties between the Aurora shooter and the Tea party. Law enforcement is being careful, and not saying much. Which is as it should be. But we already have attribution for reports that Corkins was volunteering with a GLBT center. That’s a much stronger apparent tie than any ties between either the Aurora or Arizona shooters and the Tea Party, and yet there were many media people who rushed to make claims which soon proved false.

  4. I’m glad officer Johnson was there and that his actions may very well have averted a great tragedy.

    “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”

    This piece of garbage shot at a man who probably makes between $10 to $12 an hour. Who may very well has to support children on that. Who comes in, does his job, and obviously puts some real effort into it, but it’s not about him. Makes me sick.

  5. Obviously a politically motivated wacko. I hope the guard will recover well both physically and mentally.

  6. And fortunately a politically motivated whacko who was a poor shot. This country is filled with morons hell bent on making things worse at every turn.

  7. The motives are always the same, agitators incite mentally unstable people to do awful things. The GLBT groups may react in dismay, but I’d bet at the place he worked there was a lot of hate talk about Chick-Fil-A and this organization.

    The only reason this wasn’t worse is the guy doesn’t fit the gun-nut profile – as far as we know. He wasn’t heavily armed and hadn’t trained himself to prevail by violence in a frightening world – as far as we know. Of course we know very little yet and he could be as gun wacko as all the others were.

  8. how many shootings before we are no longer alarmed? Is this the 3rd or fourth senseless-public-shooting in the last 30 days?

    We arevalready there. No one cares. We’re tired of caring. The NRA won, we lost, and the Wild West is here. It’s what they wanted: the right to play cowboys & indians.

  9. It’s not like the Aurora Shooting after all, where Brian Ross was looking for Tea Party Member to blame just minutes later. Or Tucson where the media desperately wanted Loughner to be a Tea party Member. Or DHS labeling “right wing extremists” terrorists.
    Nope, this potential mass shooting was a leftist gay activist so let’s not go there.
    No bias whatsoever.
    To misquote :) David Summers from above:
    I wish to say that it would be absurd to try and link this gunman with tea partiers or pro-traditional marriage movements or with Republicans or Conservative. And so I would hope that people would see how absurd it is for both sides to try and link other such tragedies politically, allowing us to get past using these tragedies to score political points. Unfortunately, I have no illusions on that score.
    And Neither do I. :)

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