Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gunman: 'I don't like your policies or your Chick-fil-a sandwiches'

I don't glorify violence, nor do I find it funny, but occasionally something comes along that, contrary to what I feel, does bring a bit of smile. Not least when it involves a hate group such as the Family Research Council and the shoe is on the other foot.

Floyd Lee Corkins charged with assault in shooting at Family Research Council

Gunman allegedly carried Chick-fil-A sandwiches and said 'I don't like your policies' before shooting organisation's guard

Adam Gabbatt
16 August 2012

A man has been charged with assault with intent to kill after a security guard was shot at the Washington DC offices of the Family Research Council.

Floyd Lee Corkins II, from Herndon, Virginia, was due to appear in the US district court in DC on Thursday afternoon. Corkins has also been charged with interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

Security guard Leonardo Reno Johnson was shot in the arm in the lobby of the conservative group's headquarters after challenging Corkins, the FBI said. Corkins, who authorities said was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, told the guard: "I don't like your politics" before firing.

The FBI affidavit released on Thursday said that Corkins was subdued by the injured Johnson after the shooting. Corkins was carrying a legally owned 9mm Sig Sauer handgun, with a backpack containing 50 additional rounds of ammunition and the 15 sandwiches.

Corkins, 28, lived with his parents and had recently been volunteering at an LGBT center in DC. His parents told FBI agents that he has "strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner", according to the affidavit.

The Family Research Council opposes gay marriage, and its president, Tom Perkins, attracted some criticism last month after emailing members suggesting they should support Chick-fil-A's stance on gay rights.

The affidavit said Corkins had parked his Dodge Neon at the East Falls Church metro station in Virginia, catching a train with his gun to DC. The assault charge carries up to 30 years in prison and the weapons charge has a 10-year maximum sentence.

Johnson, 46, was shot in the left arm and taken to hospital, where his mother, 72-year-old Virginia Johnson, said he was resting comfortably on Thursday morning. She said she had not been to visit him but had spoken to him by phone.

"He said he feels very well," she told Associated Press. "I am proud of him, very proud of him."

FRC president Tony Perkins said he visited Johnson, who had worked at the Family Research Council for over 11 years, in hospital and told him that he was a hero. "He said: 'This hero business is hard work,'" Perkins said on American Family Radio.

Perkins added that the shooting would not deter his organization from its mission. "We're not going anywhere. We're not backing up, we're not shutting up. We have been called to speak the truth," Perkins said. "We will not be intimidated. We will not be silenced."

More than 20 different LGBT organisations from across the US put out a statement condemning the shooting. "We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family and his co-workers," it said.

"The motivation and circumstances behind today's tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident." Gruniad

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