A security guard was shot this morning at the headquarters of the pro-life group Family Research Council, and the shooter has been apprehended while police officials investigate the act of violence.
According to information provided to LifeNews, a man posing as an intern shot the guard at the FRC office located at 801 G Street, NW. FRC staffer Anna Maria Hoffman added more information on Twitter, “Our security guard Leo [Johnson] got shot in the arm. Please keep him in your prayers.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins confirmed the security officer was shot and said in a statement, “The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”
WJLA News indicates the security guard was reportedly shot at the Family Research Council headquarters, located in the Chinatown section of Washington.
“MPD officials say the shooting happened in the 800 block of G Street in Northwest, about a block west of the Verizon Center,” it reports. “Authorities have closed the 800 block of G Street NW in both directions while the investigation continues. ABC 7’s Jennifer Donelan reports that FBI officials are on the scene.”
Additional reports show Johnson was a hero and worked with other guards to apprehend the shooter before more people were attacked.
D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier said. The man opened fire, and the guard was hit in the arm before he and other security guards tackled the shooter,” Lanier said.
“As far as I’m concerned, the security officer here is a hero,” Lanier said. “The persona never made it past him.”
Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Officer Araz Alali confirmed to POLITICO that one security guard, an adult male, was shot in the arm at approximately 10:50 a.m. and was conscious and breathing after the shooting. He was transported to a local hospital.
Alali said one suspect is in custody in connection with the shooting and the investigation is ongoing. There is no motive in the case yet, Alali said.
According to a Fox News report: “A suspect walked in and started yelling about things they (FRC) supported & opened fire.”
The suspect, a 28-year-old male from Virginia named Floyd Corkins, “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News.
AP later confirmed that Corkins is a liberal activist who volunteers with a left-wing group in the D.C. area.
While the White House has yet to respond, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney commented on the shooting, saying: “I am appalled by the shooting today at the offices of the Family Research Council in our nation’s capital. There is no place for such violence in our society. My prayers go out to the wounded security guard and his family, as well as all the people at the Family Research Council whose sense of security has been shattered by today’s horrific events.”
UPDATE: Not until after 6:30 p.m. ET did the White House respond. Obama finally commented, saying “this type of violence has no place in our society.” But a CNN tweet indicated, “WH says Pres. Obama was notified at 1:18pm of the Family Research Council shooting by national sec. adviser John Brennan.”
Speaker John Boehner also condemned the shooting on Twitter, posting: “Prayers are w/injured guard, his family, & everyone at [the Family Research Council]. DC police chief says ‘security officer here is a hero’ – couldn’t agree more.”
Leading pro-life groups have issued statements supporting FRC, with the Susan B. Anthony List saying, “Our prayers are with all of our friends at Family Research Council where an employee was shot this morning.”
Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest, a former vice president at Family Research Council, expressed “grave concern” for her former colleagues who today experienced a shooting incident in which a security guard was injured at FRC’s Washington D.C. headquarters.
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire AUL team are with our friends at Family Research Council. In particular we are focused today on the shooting victim, who is a brave and courageous friend who is dedicated to defending family, faith and freedom,” she told LifeNews. “This kind of violence should be condemned in the strongest terms. Our hope is that this will result in a renewed commitment to peaceful dialogue over the issues confronting our culture.”
Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life added: “All of us at Priests for Life stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues at FRC and are outraged by this act of violence. We pray for all involved.”
This is the second time FRC, which used to be a part of Focus on the Family, has been a victim of violence. As Christianity Today reports, “In Colorado Springs, Focus faced a hostage situation in 1994 when a man walked into the building with a handgun, wore a vest he said contained explosive with a message on his chest in red marker. Kerry Steven Dore was a construction worker who was severely injured in 1992 when he fell from a Focus building. ”
“As told in Dale Buss’s Family Man biography of Dobson, employees and visitors were evacuated as Dore took two female receptionists hostage. Two male security guards offered to substitute themselves for the women, but he took them hostage as well. Four hours later, Dore gave himself up and was eventually sent to prison for 32 years for kidnapping,” it indicated.
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Since 1983, Family Research Council (FRC) has advanced faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion. FRC’s team of seasoned experts promotes these core values through policy research, public education on Capitol Hill and in the media, and grassroots mobilization. The pro-life group reviews legislation, meets with policymakers, published books and pamphlets, builds coalitions, testifies before Congress, and maintains a powerful presence in print and broadcast media. Through our outreach to pastors, we equip churches to transform the culture.