WASHINGTON (WJZ/AP) — The shooting at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. may have been politically motivated.
The suspected gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins of Herndon, Va., was in court on Thursday to face charges in Wednesday’s shooting. The charges he faces include assault with intent to kill and other firearms offenses. He is being held without bond.
Corkins is accused of walking into the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters on G Street and shooting and wounding a security guard.
Before the shooting, Corkins reportedly said, ‘I don’t like your politics!’ The FRC is strongly against gay marriage.
An Alabama-based civil rights organization says it’s outrageous for the FRC to blame its rhetoric for leading to the shooting.
The Southern Poverty Law Center responded Thursday to accusations earlier in the day from Tony Perkins, the FRC’s president.
The law center in the past has called the council a hate group for its anti-gay views. Perkins says that “rhetoric gave the gunman a license to shoot.”
The law center called that claim outrageous and said the council had a pattern of “demonizing” comments.
Investigators say Corkins walked into the headquarters of the conservative Christian lobbying group. When a guard asked Corkins where he was going, police say the man pulled out a gun and shot the guard.
The injured guard and other guards apparently wrestled Corkins to the ground, disarmed him and waited for police.
“I would say that the security guard in this case is a hero, as far as I’m concerned. He did not allow the armed person past the front,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
The guard has been identified as Leo Johnson. The Family Research Council issued a statement saying its concern is with him and his family.
Before the shooting, Corkins reportedly said he opposed the politics of the organization, which is strongly against gay marriage.
Authorities found a box of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack.
Charges filed against Corkins include a federal weapons violation and a charge of assault with intent to kill.
Corkins could get up to 40 years in prison.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)