November 2, 2012 at 9:22 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Shooting suspect pleads not guilty to terrorism
FBI unit at Family Research Council headquarters, gay news, Washington Blade

Floyd Lee Corkins II is accused of shooting a security guard inside the Family Research Council’s headquarters building in August. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Floyd Lee Corkins II, the Herndon, Va., man arrested in August for shooting a security guard in the lobby of the anti-gay Family Research Council building in Washington, pleaded not guilty in federal court on Oct. 26 to 10 charges filed against him in a grand jury indictment.

The indictment, handed down Oct. 24, includes the charge of committing an act of terrorism while armed, representing the first time anyone has been prosecuted under D.C.’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts scheduled a status hearing for Dec. 3 and left in place an order issued at the time of Corkins’ arrest holding him in custody while he awaits trial.

Corkins, 28, a former part-time volunteer for D.C.’s LGBT community center, allegedly shot the security guard in the arm seconds after he entered the FRC building at 801 G St., N.W., and told the guard, Leo Johnson, “I don’t like your politics.”

D.C. police and the FBI arrested Corkins after Johnson wrestled the gun from him and subdued him, according to an arrest affidavit.

D.C. and FBI officials said they discovered 50 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in a backpack Corkins brought to the FRC building, leading them to believe Corkins may have planned a mass killing if Johnson had not prevented him from gaining access to the FRC officers.

Some have speculated that Corkins targeted the FRC because of its anti-gay positions. But authorities have yet to disclose whether Corkins is gay or whether they identified his motive for targeting the FRC.

The indictment charges Corkins with committing an act of terrorism while armed by allegedly attempting to kill the security guard and “other unnamed employees of the Family Research Council, with the intent to intimidate and coerce a significant portion of the civil population of the District of Columbia and the United States.”

The indictment incorporates three charges filed against Corkins in August with seven new offenses, including the terrorism charge. The other new charges include attempted murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed, second-degree burglary while armed, and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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