Law enforcement officials in Washington have identified the man who shot a security guard at the Family Research Council early today as 28-year-old Floyd Corkins II, a volunteer at a "gay" and lesbian center in Washington, and have hinted that the motive may be linked to the FRC's conservative Christian viewpoint regarding marriage and homosexuality.
According to the Associated Press, a law enforcement official confirmed that the suspect made a "negative reference" about the FRC's work before shooting and injuring guard Leo Johnson, who was hospitalized and in stable condition.
While no specific connections were confirmed by law enforcement authorities with the District of Columbia police and FBI, which responded to the case, the FRC had been vocal in recent days in its support of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. Cathy's company was attacked by homosexual advocacy organizations after he publicly stated his support for traditional marriage.
One WND columnist, however, said there's enough evidence to begin demanding that pro-homosexual organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center stand down from their campaign of labeling organizations as "hate groups" simply because they adhere to the biblical perspective of marriage.
Columnist Matt Barber, who is affiliated with the Liberty Counsel Action advocacy organization, told WND he had predicted such violence would be inflicted on Christian organizations if left-leaning groups such as the SPLC continue to spread labels such as "hate group."
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"I want to formally call on the SPLC to retract its reckless hate-group smear of Christian organizations like the Family Research Council," he said. "This was intended to dehumanize Christian organizations and smear as hate the biblical view of sexual morality.
"I pointed this out months ago in a column I wrote for WND, titled 'Liberal Violence Rising,' where I basically predicted this sort of thing."
He said the danger is when "less-than-stable, left-wing extremists" share the view of the SPLC and say "a hate group is just like the KKK. I'm a hero if I go and take out a bunch of folks."
He said the man who attacked FRC today apparently had either referenced Chick-fil-A or had products in his possession from the restaurant chain.
Barber noted that the security guard was described by Washington, D.C., authorities as a hero.
"Heroes don't work for hate groups," he said. "Shame on the SPLC, the fruits of your propaganda are coming to fruition and you have blood on your hands."
WND contacted the SPLC and asked specifically about the group's labeling of Christian organizations as "hate groups." A spokeswoman said she could not comment and no one was available to comment.
She referred WND to a statement posted online, which said: "We've seen news of the shooting of a security guard today at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., and are getting media inquiries about it. There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely."
Commenters on the SPLC website didn't hold back.
PaulNYCUS, said: "When you start stoking the crazies by labeling your ideological opponents as 'haters,' these things are bound to happen, aren't they? Were I you, I'd get down on my knees and thank God that security guard prevented a blood bath that could be blamed – in very good part – on you all."
WND Founder and Editor Joseph Farah also weighed in on the attack.
He cited the SPLC, as well as Planned Parenthood, for labeling FRC a hate group.
"Both of these organizations literally did their best to put a target on the back of FRC and other pro-family groups by labeling it as a 'hate group' (SPLC) and 'terrorist or extremist organization' (Planned Parenthood)," he wrote.
"Do they bear any responsibility for the climate of fear-mongering they helped create? Were they in any way responsible for encouraging this act of violence against a group that stands up for the institution of marriage and against the wanton taking of unborn life? Has either one of these groups expressed any remorse over the hysteria they purposely generated toward Family Research Council?"
He continued: "I can tell you this. Other groups and individuals on those lists – including me and my news organization – are taking this matter very seriously and beefing up security precautions in anticipation of more violence provoked by slanderous and vicious assaults of this kind.
"Yes, I made the same lists. So did WND as an organization. Now we are watching our backs, knowing that Planned Parenthood and SPLC have placed targets on them for every maniac who reads their reports and takes them seriously."
A statement from FRC President Tony Perkins read, "Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."
Fox News reported a suspect walked in and started yelling about things FRC supported and opened fire."
The organization, founded in 1983, works to forward faith, family and freedom issues in public policy. FRC reviews legislation, publishes books, provides experts to testify before Congress and has been active in exposing the Obama administration's pro-abortion agenda.
LifeNews.com reported the attacker was a man posing as an intern.
The pro-life news outlet also reported FRC staff member Anna Maria Hoffman posted on Twitter, "Our security guard Leo got shot in the arm. Please keep him in your prayers."
A public information officer for the Washington police department said the shooting happened about 10:45 a.m. Eastern Time.
"A security guard confronted the suspect, which is a matter of their policy. The suspect did fire upon the security guard. The security guard was struck, and transported to a hospital," the police report said.
The security guard was listed in stable condition, according to authorities.
"The suspect was apprehended on the scene and taken into custody. The motive is unknown," the report said.
The Washington Post said Police Chief Cathy Lanier credited the guard for his work.
"The security guard here is a hero, as far as I'm concerned," Lanier said. "He did his job. The person never made it past the front."
The report also said FBI spokesman James McJunkin said the reason for the attack remained unclear.
"We don't know enough about him or his circumstances to determine what his connection is to this group or his mental state, or what he was doing or thinking of doing," McJunkin said. "So we’re going to try to sort this all out, pull the evidence together, do all the interviews we can."
Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request from WND for comment.
Barber's earlier column, from November 2011, said, "The SPLC's dangerous and irresponsible disinformation campaign can embolden and give license to like-minded, though less stable, left-wing extremists, creating a climate of true hate. Such a climate is ripe for violence."
The Hill reported likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issued a statement saying he was "appalled by the shooting today at the offices of the Family Research Council."
"There is no place for such violence in our society," he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Barack Obama had expressed his concern for the guard injured.
Lifesite News reported that 23 groups supporting "gay" rights issued a statement to condemn the violence.
"We were saddened to hear news of the shooting … Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers," said leaders including Eliza Byard of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, Chad Griffin of Human Rights Campaign and Jennifer Chrisler of Family Equality Council.