LGBT rights activist charged with shooting Family Research Council guard

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, August 16, 2012 13:37 EDT
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Family Research Council shooter
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A gay rights activist has been charged with shooting and trying to kill a security guard at the Washington headquarters of a Christian conservative organization, judicial officials said Thursday.

Floyd Lee Corkins, a former volunteer with gay advocacy group “The DC Center for the LGBT Community,” faces up to 40 years in prison for allegedly wounding a security guard, Leonardo Johnson, at the Family Research Council.

Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier called Johnson a “hero” for stopping Corkins from injuring other FRC staff despite being wounded.

Corkins, a 28-year-old resident of Herndon, Virginia, was charged by Washington local authorities with “assault with intent to kill while armed,” which is punishable by a minimum of five and a maximum of 30 years in prison.

He has also been charged with the federal crime of transporting a firearm and ammunition across state borders — punishable by up to ten years.

The accused was to make his first court appearance at the US District Court in the capital later in Thursday.

The Washington community center where Corkins once volunteered issued a strong condemnation of the incident.

“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 the center’s director David Mariner in a release.

The center published an open letter on its website to “reject and condemn such violence” signed by over 40 local and national LGBT organizations.

The FBI had said that on Wednesday, an assailant walked into the FRC and shot a security guard in the arm before he was subdued.

Although authorities have yet to reveal the motives for the crime, several media outlets reported the assailant was carrying a bag from fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, which is embroiled in an ongoing national controversy over the firm’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

Rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center accuses the FRC of “defaming gays and lesbians… in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”

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Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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