FRC Shooting Victim Recovering, “Will Be Back Soon”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 17, 2012   |   4:52PM   |   Washington, DC

Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins today talked about the recovery progress of long-time FRC staff member Leo Johnson, who was shot on Wednesday inside the lobby of FRC’s headquarters.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of prayers and well-wishes for Leo as well as the entire FRC team who have been affected by this attack. It will take time, but he will be back with us soon, for which we are all grateful,” Perkins said.

“We remain in close contact with Leo and his family. Leo asked that we express his appreciation for everyone’s prayers and support. He does not wish to make any further public statements for now and requested that the media respect his privacy as he focuses on healing and getting better,” added Perkins.

“On Wednesday, FRC was the target of what the FBI is calling an act of domestic terrorism. A gunman, identified as Floyd Corkins, invaded our headquarters in Washington, D.C. armed with a 9mm pistol, approximately 50 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The gunman was confronted by an unarmed member of the FRC staff, Leo Johnson. When the gunman pulled the gun from his backpack and aimed the weapon at Leo, Leo moved toward the gunman to disarm him. Despite being shot in the process, Leo was able to subdue the shooter and call for others on the staff, who helped admirably. One of the investigators, based on their preliminary findings, told me Leo’s actions saved a lot of lives,” Perkins said.

Perkins said: “I was with Leo around midnight Wednesday night in the recovery room when he came out of surgery. I told him he was a hero — not just in the opinion of his FRC colleagues — but in the opinion of people all across the nation. Still a bit groggy from the anesthesia, he said, “This hero business is hard work!” Obviously, Leo hasn’t lost his sense of humor. It will take time and more surgeries, but he will be back with us soon, for which we are all grateful. In the meantime, let me say thank you on behalf of the FRC team for the outpouring of concern and support for our colleague and friend, as well as for the entire FRC team who have been affected by this attack.”

The rest of Perkins’ statement continues:

This unfortunately changes the way FRC will do business, but not the business that we do. We’ll enhance our security to ensure that each and every member of the FRC team, as well as our guests, are secure. What we will not do is allow the threats and actions of those who oppose us to intimidate or silence us

After the shooting, I assembled most of our 80-member team, and we prayed together. We prayed for Leo, for each other, for our mission, and for the assailant. We also discussed the new level of hostility that we now face because of the inflammatory rhetoric that has been used against us. But I want you to know that these increased obstacles and challenges do not change our calling or our mission. You can continue to count on the FRC team to credibly represent you and the millions of other Americans who share our concerns for the family and for our country.

I want to close by saying how proud I am of the FRC team and the extended FRC family. Leo Johnson is a hero in every way-we now just refer to him as Leo the Hero. But we have more than one hero at FRC. Every man and woman who enters FRC each morning under the inscription “Faith, Family and Freedom” chiseled in the stone above the entrance is a hero. They are committed to standing for those core principles on which our nation rests. I also want to thank those of you who have made our work possible for the past 29 years.

This unfortunately changes the way FRC will do business, but not the business that we do. We’ll enhance our security to ensure that each and every member of the FRC team, as well as our guests, are secure. What we will not do is allow the threats and actions of those who oppose us to intimidate or silence us

The man who is alleged to have shot a security guard at the offices of the pro-life group Family research Council has been formally charged and new FBI documents present more information.

A man posing as an intern shot the guard, Leo Johnson, at the FRC office located at 801 G Street, NW. 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.”

Additional reports show Johnson was a hero and worked with other guards to apprehend the shooter before more people were attacked. The suspect, a 28-year-old male from Virginia named Floyd Lee Corkins II, said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.” AP later confirmed that Corkins is a liberal activist who volunteers with a left-wing group in the D.C. area.

Now, Corkins has been charged with assault with intent to kill and with bringing a firearm across state lines. According to an FBI affidavit, Corkins allegedly said words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” when he encountered Johnson.

“The FBI said Corkins had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, two additional magazines loaded with ammunition and an additional box of 50 rounds of ammunition when he came into the building,” according to a report on the FBI intel. “His parents told the FBI that Corkins “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”

Corkins appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in D.C. before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay. After 20 minutes of proceedings, the judge ordered Corkins held without bond in lieu of a hearing August 24 to determine that. The judge also ordered a mental evaluation of Corkins.

Meanwhile, FRC President Tony Perkins said Johnons’ surgery went well and he says he’s not a hero.

“I was at the hospital last night when he came out of surgery shortly before midnight. The surgery went well,” Perkins said.

“When I told him his actions were heroic in protecting his colleagues, he told me that he just reacted in the way he thought anyone at FRC would have responded,” Perkins added. “We are very grateful for the outpouring of prayers from literally around the world.”

Perkins also said left-wing groups calling FRC a hate group were wrong to have done so.

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney swiftly 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.”

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.