When news broke that a security guard at Family Research Council had been shot, a mother’s intuition took over. Virginia Johnson knew it was her son who had been shot.
Leonardo Johnson’s primary job description at the Family Research Council was building operations manager, but his secondary role as security led to actions that have authorities calling him a hero. Even after being shot in the arm, he wrestled a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun away from the shooter.
“I was trying to call him and he was trying to call me because he didn’t want anybody else to call to tell me anything, because he knew how upset I would get,” she said.
When they did talk, her son assured her he was OK.
“The best child in the world,” Virginia Johnson said.
The shooter entered the building at 801 G Street NW at around 11 a.m. Wednesday, approached the front desk and saying he was an intern.
Leo Johnson, 46, questioned the man and asked about the contents of his backpack, which is when the shooter pulled a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun from the backpack and fired several rounds, striking Johnson in the arm.
“He said the man was taking too long to do what he was doing, and so when he went around to see him, that’s when he pulled the gun out on him,” Virginia Johnson told NBC4's Derrick Ward.
“Then they got into a little altercation, and I guess that’s when he shot him,” she said.
The suspect in the case, Floyd Lee Corkins II, was ordered held without bond during a brief hearing Thursday. He's been charged with assault with intent to kill while armed, and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.
Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital.
"He is a good hero," Johnson's grandmother told Ward.
She wasn't the only one saying so.
“The security officer here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said Wednesday. “He did his job. The person never made it past farther than the front door."
Hours after the shooting, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement, "Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot... Our concern is for him and his family."