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'Did his job'

Shooting | Security guard Leo Johnson stops shooter at Family Research Council headquarters

WASHINGTON-A Family Research Council security guard is being called a hero after a gunman opened fire at the organization's Washington, D.C., headquarters.

About 10:45 a.m. Wednesday a man attempted to enter the FRC building-which requires a key card-and caused an altercation with security guard Leo Johnson. The suspect, identified by a law enforcement official as 28-year-old Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, Va., pulled a weapon and shot Johnson in the arm before being wrestled to the ground. Johnson gained control of the weapon and helped others hold the man down until police arrived. According to another law enforcement official, the suspect made a negative reference about the FRC's work before opening fire but added that the reference was not specific.

Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

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"The security guard here is a hero, as far as I'm concerned," said Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier. "He did his job. The person never made it past the front."

FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire also hailed Johnson's efforts to stop the shooter, who was taken into custody but has not been charged. Maguire said the U.S. Attorney's office, D.C. Police, and the FBI are investigating the incident until jurisdiction is determined. She said the suspect's motive is not yet known, but investigators are still considering all options, including domestic terrorism.

Corkins had been volunteering for about the past six months at The DC Center for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Community, said David Mariner, executive director of the community center, which is in Northwest Washington. Corkins usually staffed the center's front desk on Saturdays, and his most recent shift was about two weeks ago.

"He always struck me as a kind, gentle, and unassuming young man. I'm very surprised that he could be involved in something like this," Mariner said.

According to Jackie Bensen of NBC4 in Washington, authorities discovered two loaded 15-round magazines and Chick-fil-A promotional materials in the suspect's backpack. FRC President Tony Perkins has been an outspoken supporter of Chick-fil-A, which has been embroiled in a recent controversy with homosexual activists after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy publicly affirmed traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A has also financially supported FRC.

In a statement released shortly after the shooting, Perkins said, "Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."

Founded by James Dobson, the FRC has championed conservative, pro-family causes for the past three decades.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Listen to a report on the shooting at Family Research Council headquarters on WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

J.C. Derrick
J.C. Derrick

J.C. is a reporter in WORLD's Washington Bureau. He spent 10 years covering sports, higher education, and politics for the Longview News-Journal and other newspapers in Texas before joining WORLD in 2012. Follow J.C. on Twitter @jcderrick1.

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