Authorities say a volunteer at a gay community center shot a security guard in the lobby of the right-wing Family Research Council’s Washington offices.
Police have not disclosed a possible motive in the shooting on Aug. 15.
The suspect in custody is Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va. He has been charged with assault with intent to kill and bringing firearms across a state line and ordered held without bond.
Authorities say he entered the building housing the FRC, an anti-gay organization that’s been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and made a negative comment about the FRC’s advocacy work. An ABC News report said Corkins told a security guard, "I don't like your politics."
When the guard tried to stop him from proceeding into the office, Corkins allegedly displayed a 9 mm gun and fired, wounding the guard in the arm.
David Mariner, executive director of The DC Center for the LGBT Community, confirmed that Corkins had volunteered for the organization for about six months.
Mariner described Corkins as “kind, gentle and unassuming.”
Corkins' parents allegedly told the FBI that their son had strong opinions "with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner," according to the criminal complaint against the man.
The complaint said that Corkins was in possession of a box of ammunition and 15 sandwiches from a Chick-fil-A – the restaurant has been the focus of controversy over its donations to anti-gay organizations.
A joint statement signed by representatives of more than two dozen LGBT groups later on Aug. 15, said, "We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers.
"The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident."
Signers included Katie Belanger of Fair Wisconsin, Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, Carly Burton of MassEquality, Dr. Eliza Byard of GLSEN, Jennifer Chrisler of Family Equality Council, Brad Clark of One Colorado, Jerame Davis of National Stonewall Democrats, Emily Dievendorf of Equality Michigan, James Esseks of ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, Lynn A. Faria of Empire State Pride Agenda, Jenna Frazzini of Basic Rights Oregon, Herndon Graddick of GLAAD, Chad Griffin of HRC, Jody M. Huckaby of PFLAG National, Mara Keisling of National Center of Transgender Equality, Kate Kendell of National Center for Lesbian Rights, Abbe Land of The Trevor Project, Ineke Mushovic of Movement Advancement Project, Darlene Nipper of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Donna Red Wing of One Iowa, Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Josh Seefried of OutServe, Lee Swislow of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Rachel B. Tiven of Immigration Equality, Chuck Wolfe of Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry.
The leader of the FRC, Tony Perkins, said in an early statement on Aug. 15, “Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today.”
Later, on Aug. 16, Perkins joined a number of conservative leaders in accusing the Southern Poverty Law Center of provoking the attack by characterizing FRC as a hate group.
“Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one our colleagues and one of my friends yesterday here at the Family Research Council, but I believe he was given a license by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, who, as you pointed out earlier, labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and we stand for traditional, orthodox Christianity,” Perkins said.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney also issued a statement, saying, “There is no place for such violence in our society. My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today’s horrific events.”