WASHINGTON (CNS) — The shooter brought 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a 9mm pistol with him to the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington Aug. 15.
According to an affidavit released by the FBI the next day, the gunman said, “I don't like your politics,” just before he opened fire.
After a nonfatal shooting of one guard, the gunman, later identified as Floyd Lee Corkins, was subdued.
Corkins, 28, was charged Aug. 16 with assault with intent to kill while armed. He also is charged with the federal offense of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. Corkins is from Herndon, Va., a Washington suburb.
If found guilty on those charges, he could face a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment. He is being held in jail without bond.
Tony Perkins, CEO of the Family Research Council, said in a statement that “reckless language” created an atmosphere of violence. He referred to the Southern Poverty Law Center's labeling of his organization as a hate group because of its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Founded in 1983, the Family Research Council advocates for public policy “that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family.” Its motto is “Advancing, Faith, Family and Freedom.”
Perkins also shared his gratitude for 25 gay rights groups who had released a statement through the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The GLAAD statement said, “Regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence.”
Chick-fil-A has recently gone from being an innocuous sandwich shop to a political lightning rod after its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, talked about his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Chick-fil-A is a donor to the Family Research Council.
The Southern fast-food chain has just one location in Washington, in The Catholic University of America's student union. It has been closed for the summer and will reopen Aug. 27 when the new school year begins.
A spokesman for the university, Victor Nakas, told Catholic News Service that the school would increase security measures.
“We have professional staff available 24/7. We'll be giving our food court more visibility,” said Nakas. He noted the school does not expect any incidents but would increase patrols to their student center regardless.
— By Daniel Linskey Catholic News Service