Suspect in Washington shooting had grudge against anti-gay groups

By Ian Simpson, Reuters
Posted Aug. 16, 2012, at 7:59 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The man charged in a shooting at a conservative Christian lobbying group in downtown Washington told a guard “I don’t like your politics” before wounding him, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., also was carrying 15 sandwiches from fast food chain Chick-fil-A in Wednesday’s shooting at the Family Research Council, an affidavit said.

The Family Research Council strongly opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, and Corkins had been a volunteer at a Washington gay and lesbian community center. Chick-fil-A’s president has publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

Corkins’ parents told FBI agents that Corkins “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” the affidavit from the FBI said.

In an initial court appearance, Magistrate Judge Alan Kay ordered that Corkins be held without bond and that he undergo a mental evaluation. A preliminary and detention hearing was set for Aug. 24.

Corkins faces a District of Columbia charge of assault with intent to kill while armed and a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

Corkins appeared in court subdued and dressed in white prison garb, his hands behind his back when he stood to address the judge. He told Kay he had about $300 and no property, and was assigned a public defender.

Surveillance camera footage showed that Corkins then pulled a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol from a backpack and shot the guard in the arm. The wounded guard wrestled the gun from Corkins and subdued him. A second guard called 911, the affidavit said.

Investigators recovered two more loaded magazines at the scene. They found another 50 rounds of ammunition and the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in Corkins’ backpack.

The complaint said that Corkins lived with his parents. He had left their car at a Virginia subway station before the attack.

Corkins faces up to 10 years in prison for the federal weapons charge and from five to 30 years for the District of Columbia offense.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told reporters “reckless rhetoric” from such organizations as the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group, had spurred the shooting.

The SPLC called Perkins’ charges “outrageous” and dismissed the suggestion that its criticism had incited violence.

“The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage,” the center said in a statement.

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, along with groups across the political spectrum, have condemned the shooting.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/16/news/nation/suspect-in-washington-shooting-had-grudge-against-anti-gay-groups/ printed on December 26, 2014