Floyd Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Virginia, was taken into custody by Washington, D.C. police yesterday morning after opening fire in the lobby of the organization. He was characterized by witnesses as being a light-skinned African American male, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing an estimated 240 pounds.
Police state that Corkins entered the headquarters of Family Research Council with a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol that he had purchased recently from a gun shop in Virginia. He was also carrying a backpack that contained two loaded magazines of bullets with fifteen rounds in each. Additionally, reports state that four boxes of ammunition were found in his car.
Corkins posed as an intern as an attempt to get past security, but the guard, Leo Johnson, questioned the man about his destination. Corkins then reportedly began yelling about the policies of the organization and shot the guard in the arm. While not confirmed by police at this point, it is believed that he shot Johnson in an effort to make way into the Family Research Council offices.
Corkins was carrying items from a local Chick-fil-A restaurant.
Johnson and others immediately tackled Corkins and disarmed him. He was held until police arrived.
“Don’t shoot me, it was not about you; it was what this place stands for,” Corkins pled after his pistol was confiscated, according to eyewitnesses.
Photographs are now circulating of Corkins being led away by police wearing an unbuttoned shirt, now bloodied from being wrestled to the floor by the wounded security officer.
“The security guard here is a hero as far as I’m concerned,” said Police Chief Cathy Lanier. “He did his job. The person never made it past the front.”
Corkins has been working as a volunteer with the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community for the past six months, staffing the front desk on most Saturdays. The center is an advocacy and support organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered men and women.
Following yesterday’s shooting, the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community released a statement condemning the attack.
“I was shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC Center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence,” said David Mariner, the executive director. “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.”
“He always struck me as a kind, gentle and unassuming young man. I’m very surprised that he could be involved in something like this,” Mariner commented to reporters.
Over 40 homosexual organizations have also signed a statement denouncing Corkins’ actions.
As of press time, Corkins was charged with two federal offenses: transporting a firearm across state lines and assault with the intent to kill. Authorities state that the matter is being treated as an act of “domestic terrorism,” and motives are still being determined before classifying it as a hate crime. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Both the D.C. Police Department and FBI are continuing to investigate the matter, and have been canvassing Corkins’ neighborhood in Herndon, Virginia.