As previously reported, last August, Floyd Corkins III entered the offices of Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C. with a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol that he had purchased from a gun shop in Virginia. He was also carrying a backpack that contained two loaded magazines of bullets with fifteen rounds in each, and four boxes of ammunition were found in his car.
Corkins posed as an intern as an attempt to get past security, but the building manager, 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 as a way to get past the front desk.
Johnson 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.
It was later discovered that Corkins had over a dozen Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack. He told investigators that it was his intent to “kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face.”
“How did you find [this organization] earlier?” an online video shows an investigator inquiring og Corkins. “Did you look it up online?”
“Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups,” Corkins replied. “I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that.”
Corkins later plead guilty in court to 10 charges surrounding the shooting. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, nearly half of what the prosecution had requested, but double what the defense had suggested.
“I realize resorting to violence to achieve a political end is never okay,” he told the court during his sentencing hearing, but noted that he still opposes FRC’s views. “This was such a senseless crime. Many innocent people were going to be ruthlessly murdered and taken away from their families and friends forever.”
Tony Perkins, the founder of FRC was also present and spoke on behalf of the organization.
“Today, we are not seeking vengeance, but we do seek justice,” he stated. “Many on our staff and in their families have suffered ongoing emotional and psychological harm and have changed their daily lives in response to the attack. Every day, our staff has to deal with the fact that each of us was a potential victim.”
“In a civil society, shutting down debate is not how reasonable people and organizations operate,” Perkins continued. “Intimidating and bullying others shreds the ‘ordered liberty’ of which our Founders wrote and for which they advocated and places all of us in jeopardy of losing our sacred rights as militant extremists claim the public square exclusively for themselves.”
U.S. attorney Robert Machen also released a statement following the sentencing, thanking Johnson for preventing a serious tragedy from occurring.
“A security guard’s heroism is the only thing that prevented Floyd Corkins II from carrying out a mass shooting intended to kill as many people as possible,” he wrote. “Our entire community is thankful to the hero who stood up to this heinous attack. Today’s 25-year prison sentence demonstrates the steep price to be paid for turning to violence to terrorize your political enemies.”
Corkins’ sentencing is the first under Washington’s Anti-Terrorism Act.