Man Accused with Family Research Council Shooting Charged with Terrorism
WASHINGTON - A Virginia man accused of shooting a security guard inside the headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group was indicted on a local terrorism charge, marking the first time in a decade that a person has been prosecuted under the statute, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The new charge is for Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was arrested in August and charged with opening fire inside the lobby of the Family Research Council building in downtown Washington.
Authorities said Corkins was carrying a backpack containing ammunition and Chick-fil-A sandwiches when he entered the group’s headquarters, saying words to the effect of, "I don’t like your politics," before shooting the guard, Leonardo Johnson, in the arm. Johnson managed to help take down the gunman, and no one else was injured. Chick-fil-A was making headlines at the time because of its president’s stated opposition to gay marriage.
Corkins had been volunteering at a community center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and his parents told the authorities that he felt strongly about gay rights. His target was a lobbying group that staunchly opposes gay marriage and abortion rights. The new charge, brought under a 2002 terrorism statute, indicates prosecutors plan to prove the shooting was ideologically motivated.
Corkins is the first person charged under the District of Columbia’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington. The indictment accuses him of "acting with the intent to intimidate and coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia and the United States."
The terrorism charge carries up to 30 years in prison. Other new charges in the updated indictment include attempted murder while armed, second-degree burglary and weapons offenses.