A security guard at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Family Research Council was shot on Wednesday after an altercation with a man who entered the lobby with a gun. Police and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the shooting.
"Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a brief statement. "Our concern is for him and his family."
According to a spokesman for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the suspected gunman entered the lobby of the building in downtown Washington at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. He was confronted by the security guard and opened fire.
The guard was shot in the left arm, police said. The gunman was tackled and then taken into custody.
"The suspect is in custody and is being interviewed by the FBI," Jacqueline Maguire, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington Field Office, said, declining to discuss his motive. Charges have yet to be filed.
The FBI did not release the suspect's name, but multiple reports identified the gunman as Floyd Lee Corkins, 28, from Herndon, Va., a D.C. suburb. Corkins legally purchased the handgun he used in the shooting in Virginia last week, the reports said.
The unidentified guard was taken to a local hospital and is "doing okay," according to the FBI.
"As far as I'm concerned, the security officer here is a hero," Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.
The Family Research Council is a Christian organization and conservative lobbying group that "promotes the traditional family unit and the Judeo-Christian value system." Its motto is "advancing faith, family and freedom." The group, which was founded in 1981, opposes abortion and gay marriage.
According to a Fox News source, the shooter "made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard." Authorities are treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism, Fox News said.
Via the Washington Post's Crime Scene blog:
A law enforcement official said at one point in the scuffle, the shooter expressed views that differed from those of the Family Research Council. The official also said the shooter was carrying a bag that had a Chick-Fil-A bag inside. Chick-Fil-A's chief executive has expressed similar views against same-sex marriage as the Research Council.
Following the shooting, "bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled outside at building at Eighth and G streets," the Washington Examiner said, noting it was "standard protocol." According to the paper, news of the shooting prompted several Washington-based conservative groups—including Americans for Tax Reform—to tighten security.
Meanwhile, the leaders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations released a joint statement condemning the shooting.
"The motivation and circumstances behind today's tragedy are still unknown," the statement read. "But regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence."
"This shooting is yet another reminder that recent comments by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Campaign labeling FRC a 'hate group' are false, intolerant and irresponsible," Penny Nance, president of the conservative Concerned Women for America, said in separate statement. "That being said, in the spirit of loving our enemies, we pray for justice and deliverance from the evil that motivated the shooter."
Wednesday's shooting—the fourth high-profile case in as many weeks—comes a little more than a week after seven people, including the gunman, were killed in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the temple shooter, Wade Michael Page, "was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band."
On Monday, a man killed two people—including a Texas constable—during a 30-minute gunfight near Texas A&M University. The shooter, Thomas "Tres" Caffall, opened fire when the constable tried to serve him an eviction notice, police said.
On July 20, a gunman opened fire at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 and wounding 58.
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