A man who confessed to the shooting of a security guard at the Washington offices of the conservative Family Research Council (FRC) pleaded guilty of the crime Wednesday, explaining in court that he brought a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with the intent of making the attack into a political statement.
Floyd Corkins, 28, agreed to plead guilty to three charges relating to the Aug. 15 incident, including committing an act of terrorism, according to CBS News. His victim, security guard Leo Johnson, was shot once in the arm but managed to wrest away Corkins’ weapon.
In a strange twist, Corkins was caught on camera buying a pistol in Virginia, six days before the shooting, as a team of French journalists were filming a segment about how easy it is to buy guns in America. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen later declared in a prepared statement that the case “highlights the dangers of access to high-capacity magazines that allow killers to inflict carnage on a mass scale in the blink of an eye.”
The Chick-fil-A restaurant chain was embroiled in controversy the month before Corkins’ attack after CEO Dan Cathy told a religious news outfit that he’s “guilty” of using the company’s profits to finance anti-gay groups — a move that dealt tremendous damage to the business’s brand despite soaring sales as Christian groups flocked to eat chicken as a political statement.
Corkins’ plea agreement acknowledges he targeted FRC for their well known anti-LGBT stance. He also claimed to have used the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) map of U.S. hate groups to identify FRC and other organizations that oppose LGBT equality.
SPLC, formed in the midst of the civil rights movement with the express goal of dismantling institutionalized racism, did not comment on Corkins’ plea. FRC President Tony Perkins, however, insisted that the group had given Corkins “license” for his attempted rampage.
This video is from WJLA-TV, aired Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.
Photo: Flickr user Alaina Browne, creative commons licensed.