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District of Columbia

FRC gunman indicted by federal grand jury

Thursday, August 23, 2012
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WASHINGTON — A Virginia man who entered the the lobby of the conservative anti-gay group, the Family Research Council, on August 15 and shot a security guard, was indicted Wednesday on federal charges related to the incident.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, of Herndon, Va., was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition and two District of Columbia offenses: assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a handgun during a crime of violence.

Floyd Lee Corkins II

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia declined to comment on the possibility of additional charges, including a hate crime specification. The FBI acknowledged that the investigation is still active but declined further comment.

Corkins’ attorney, David Bos, declined comment on today’s grand jury indictment although he did say that he thought a hate crime specification was not likely.

Corkins, 28, is due in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay had also ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine his mental competency, the results of which have not been yet disclosed.

Corkins allegedly told the security guard he didn’t agree with FRC’s policies over LGBT rights just before he produced a handgun and opened fire.

Charging documents show that he was carrying extra ammunition and a bag filled with Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his back-pack when he entered the building. It was not clear what he planned to do with the sandwiches.

The Family Research Council has defended Chick-fil-A since the fast-food chain’s president, Dan Cathy, spoke publicly about his opposition to same-sex marriage.

While the shooting itself was denounced by both progressive groups including virtually every LGBT equality rights organizations along with numerous conservative groups, it has resulted in a renewed war of words over LGBT rights issues, specifically same-sex marriage.

The Family Research Council, which bills itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation’s halls of power,” has been labeled an anti-gay “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has designated the organization a “hate group” for making “false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science.”

In a press conference the day after the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins said the Southern Poverty Law Center had given Corkins a “license to kill” by classifying his organization as a hate group.

Corkins had recently volunteered part-time at the DC Centre, a community center for LGBT people. David Mariner, Executive Director of the center, described Corkins as “kind, gentle and unassuming.”

Corkins lived at home with his parents, who told FBI investigators that their son was very concerned about “gay rights.”

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