The recent shooting at the Family Research Center in Washington D.C. was apparently a matter of political disagreement, according to the latest reports. The gunman allegedly told a security guard that he doesn’t agree with the politics of the Center before opening fire.
Authorities confirm that the exchange between Floyd Corkins and security guard Leo Johnson was caught on tape, and that it shows the two interacting briefly as Corkins entered the FRC before pulling his 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol from his backpack and pointing it at Johnson. Corkins was able to squeeze a shot off, hitting Johnson in the arm, but the security guard managed to wrestle the gun away from the would-be killer and restrain him until authorities arrived.
What happened in that exchange is a matter of debate and allegation at this point, but some sources claim that the attack was politically motivated.
ABC local affiliate WJLA-TV initially reported that Johnson said Corkins was asking about a potential internship with the FRC before he started shooting. CNN says that Corkins simply stated “I don’t like your politics,” or something similar, and then brandished his firearm. The latter seems to be the story that a majority of media outlets are going with. They also report that Corkins had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack in addition to extra ammunition.
The Family Research Center has publicly supported Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy amid the scandal surrounding his views on gay marriage.
Not much else is known about Corkins at this time. He is highly educated, having earned a Master’s Degree from George Mason University’s College of Education in 2006. He has also volunteered with a DC Center for the LGBT Community, though that center has distanced themselves from Corkins since the shooting, releasing a statement saying that they are “shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC Center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence. No matter the circumstances, we condemn such violence in the strongest terms possible. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for the victim and our thoughts are with him and his family.”
Other public figures, such as President Barack Obama and his election rival Mitt Romney, have also condemned the shooting.
Johnson is currently recovering, and has received unanimous support. “I am proud of him, very proud of him.” FRC president Tony Perkins said, also telling Johnson that he is a hero. Perkins added that the FRC is moving ahead despite the shooting. “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.”
Do you think the FRC shooting was politically motivated?