BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — A man suspected of shooting and wounding a security guard at the Washington, DC, headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC) allegedly criticized the organization’s work before opening fire, the Huffington Post reports.
The report says the man entered the FRC’s lobby just before 11am Aug 15, began arguing with the guard and then shot him in the arm. The guard, with the help of other people, subdued the gunman, who was taken into custody but has not been charged as of this posting.
Various media reports identify the alleged shooter as Floyd Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Virginia. HuffPost cites David Mariner, the executive director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community, as saying that Corkins had been volunteering at the centre for the past six months, his most recent shift about two weeks ago.
NBC Washington reports that the suspect was allegedly carrying Chick-fil-A promotional materials, plus two loaded magazines with 15 rounds each, in a backpack.
“In the past month, the FRC had forcefully defended Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy for his remarks in opposition to gay marriage, which brought the fast food chain to the forefront of the nation's culture wars,” HuffPost reports.
"Today's attack is the clearest sign we've seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as 'hateful' must end," Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), said.
“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as 'hateful' and 'bigoted.'"
Law enforcement officials cautioned against attributing a motive to the shooter’s actions at this early stage of the investigation.
In response to the shooting, several queer advocacy organizations released a joint statement.
“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.”