Shooting at Family Research Council in Washington
By THEO EMERY
Published: August 15, 2012
WASHINGTON — A gunman trying to enter the downtown offices of a conservative policy organization on Wednesday morning shot and wounded a security guard before he was wrestled to the ground and arrested, a city police officer said.
The shooting took place in the lobby of the Family Research Council, which advocates socially conservative and Christian causes.
The F.B.I. identified the gunman as Floyd L. Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., and said that he was being held overnight on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. A law enforcement official said Mr. Corkins made comments indicating his opposition to the council’s goals during the confrontation.
The organization’s president, Tony Perkins, did not address political considerations in a statement released after the shooting. “Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family,” Mr. Perkins said.
A police spokesman, Officer Araz Alali, said that the gunman’s motives were not known, but that the shooting was being investigated as a possible hate crime. He declined to release the name of the security guard, who was taken to a hospital in stable condition.
Officer Alali said that the guard confronted the gunman as he entered the building, at 801 G Street N.W., about 10:45 a.m. and that the gunman then fired, hitting the guard in an arm, before being wrestled to the floor.
At a news conference, Washington’s police chief, Cathy L. Lanier, said the guard and others then overpowered the gunman.
The suspect was uninjured.
The Family Research Council is known for wading into fights over social values. Mr. Corkins had been a volunteer at the D.C. Center, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community center in Washington, said David Mariner, the center’s executive director.
Mr. Mariner was a signatory to a letter that gay and lesbian rights groups released after the shooting and that stated, “We utterly reject and condemn such violence.” By late Wednesday, more than 40 organizations had signed on.