WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who volunteered at a gay community center had a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a box of ammunition when he said “I don’t like your politics” and shot a security guard at the headquarters of a conservative lobbying group, authorities revealed Thursday.
Floyd Lee Corkins, 28, was charged in federal court a day after opening fire in the lobby of the Family Research Council. The guard, who was shot in the arm, was wounded but was able to help wrestle the gun away and restrain the shooter, police said.
Corkins was charged with assault with intent to kill and bringing firearms across state and was expected to appear later Thursday in federal court.
Corkins lived with his parents in Herndon and had recently been volunteering at a D.C. community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He told the guard words to the effect of, “I don’t like your politics” and pulled a handgun from his backpack, according to an FBI affidavit.
Besides a box of ammunition, authorities also found 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain that has landed at the center of a national cultural debate over gay marriage.
The Family Research Council had recently defended Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy for his opposition to gay marriage. The council strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion and says it advocates “faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion.” The conservative group maintains a powerful lobbying presence, testifying before Congress and reviewing legislation.
Corkins’ parents told FBI agents that he has “strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” the complaint says.
The assault charge carries up to 30 years in prison and the weapons charge has a 10-year maximum sentence. It wasn’t immediately clear if Corkins had a lawyer.
Authorities believe Corkins parked his car at a northern Virginia Metro station and used public transportation to get downtown. An open black box resembling a gun box was found on the car’s passenger seat, the affidavit says.
The guard, Leonardo “Leo” Johnson, 46, was shot in the left arm. His mother, Virginia Johnson, said he was resting comfortably at a hospital Thursday morning. She said she had not been to visit him but had spoken to him by phone.
“He said he feels very well,” she told The Associated Press in a brief interview. “I am proud of him, very proud of him.”
FRC president Tony Perkins said he visited Leo Johnson in the hospital and told him that he was a hero.
“He said, ‘This hero business is hard work,’” Perkins said during an appearance Wednesday morning on American Family Radio.
Perkins added that the shooting would not deter his organization from its mission.
“We’re not going anywhere. We’re not backing up, we’re not shutting up. We have been called to speak the truth,” Perkins said. “We will not be intimidated. We will not be silenced.”
Associated Press Writer Ben Nuckols contributed to this report.
More Related Stories
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Moore officials: Funds for "safe rooms" were held up by red tape
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- Rescue crews race to find tornado survivors
- Looting in Oklahoma?
- Hundreds of low-wage federally contracted workers strike in D.C.
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
- Study: Salt Lake City is gay parenting capital of the U.S.
- Inhofe and Coburn: Red state hypocrites
- Teen activist to meet with Abercrombie CEO
- Watch: Family emerges from storm shelter after tornado
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma death count confirmed at 24, 9 children
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11