Terrorism Charge in Family Research Council Shooting

By Matthew Stabley
|  Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012  |  Updated 4:12 PM EDT
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Terrorism Charge in FRC Shooting

A federal grand jury indicted the defendant in the shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council on several new charges Wednesday, including committing an act of terrorism while armed, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., is accused of shooting the guard in the lobby of the conservative Christian organization based in downtown D.C. He has been in custody since his arrest shortly after the Aug. 15 shooting.

Corkins initially was charged with D.C. charges of assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, as well as a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

Wednesday's superseding indictment adds the terrorism charge, attempted murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed, second-degree burglary while armed, and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. All are D.C. charges.

The terrorism charge is the first under D.C.'s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, which covers actions intended to “intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia or the United States.” It carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Corkins entered the Family Research Council headquarters about 10:45 a.m., pulled a gun from his backpack and shot the unarmed security guard, Leo Johnson, in the arm, according to the government. Johnson then got the firearm away from Corkins and subdued him.

Following the shooting, authorities found 50 additional rounds of ammunition in the suspect's backpack, as well as 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, a law enforcement agent said in an affidavit.

Chick-fil-A was at the center of a controversy over gay marriage after the fast food empire's president, Dan Cathy, spoke out against it.

The Family Research Council, which gets money from the company that owns Chick-fil-A, promotes traditional marriage and other issues, lobbying against gay rights, abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Its president, Tony Perkins, supported Cathy.

According to a witness, Corkins made a negative reference about the work of the Family Research Council before opening fire.

The security guard received the mayor's medal of honor Monday.

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