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.
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.
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.
Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
President, Freedom to Work
Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin
Founding Executive Director, Truth Wins Out
Executive Director, PROMO
Board Chair, Gender Rights Maryland
Deputy Director, MassEquality
Dr. Eliza Byard
Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Executive Director, One Colorado
R. Clarke Cooper
Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans
Executive Director, San Diego LGBT Pride
Managing Director, GetEQUAL
Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
Director of Policy, Equality Michigan
Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project
Lynn A. Faria
Interim Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda
Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon
Joshua A. Friedes
Spokesperson, Equal Rights Washington
President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Jody M. Huckaby
Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Executive Director, National Center of Transgender Equality
Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Executive Director & CEO, The Trevor Project
Executive Director, True Colors Fund
Executive Director, API Equality-LA
Executive Director, The DC Center for the LGBT Community
Executive Director, Movement Advancement Project
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
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)
Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Executive Director, Pride at Work
Executive Director, Marriage Equality USA
Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.
Executive Director, Immigration Equality
Executive Director, Campus Pride
President & CEO, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute
President, Freedom to Marry
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.