Domestic Terrorist Says He Targeted FRC After Finding It on Southern Poverty Law Center Website

Fred Lucas | April 25, 2013 | 4:56pm EDT
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Family Researh Council employee Leo Johnson who was shot by a gunman but still managed to subdue the shooter on Aug. 15, 2012, in the lobby of the conservative organization's building in Washington, D.C.

( –Domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins told the FBI that he found the Family Research Council as a target because they were listed online as an "anti-gay" group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Corkins walked into the FRC's Washington, D.C., headquarters last Aug. 15, carrying a pistol, 100 rounds of ammunition and knapsack filled with 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. He later admitted that he intended "to kill people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face."

He was stopped by FRC buildings operations manager Leo Johnson.

The FRC has now released a video that includes footage from a surveillance camera that shows Johnson heroically stopping the would-be mass murderer.

The video also shows part of an FBI interrogation of Corkins in which Corkins admits that he found the FRC as a target because it was listed by the SPLC.

On the video, an FBI agent asks Corkins: "How did you ... this building, this organization. Did you, how did you find it earlier? Did you like look it up online?"

Corkins answers: "It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website. Stuff like that."

The SPLC, a liberal organization, put FRC on its “Hate Map” for the Washington, D.C. area, and describes the FRC as an “anti-gay” group whose “specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.” FRC President Tony Perkins paid tribute this week to Leo Johnson, who single-handedly stopped Corkins. “In an age when it seems heroes are hard to come by, it’s stirring to see a genuine hero in action,” said Perkins.

“Last August, FRC building manager Leo Johnson was temporarily manning the front desk at our Washington headquarters when a now-confessed terrorist intent on killing everyone in the building entered with a handgun and 100 rounds of ammunition,” said Perkins.

“As he drew his gun, Leo courageously charged the attacker into oncoming gunfire,” Perkins added.  “Even after sustaining a direct hit to his forearm, he subdued the attacker and wrestled the gun away from him. Leo Johnson’s heroism saved countless lives that day. Now you can see the never-before released security footage that shows just how quickly tragedy was averted.  Please share this video with friends, and help pay tribute to a true hero.”

As reported in February, “In an interview with the FBI following the shooting, as provided in the ‘Statement of Offense,’ Corkins said that ‘(1) intended to enter the FRC that day to kill as many people as possible and smother Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces; (2) he intended to kill the guard who confronted him in the lobby (i.e., Johnson); and (3) he had taken substantial steps in the preceding week in furtherance of carrying out the crimes.’” (See Floyd Lee Corkins II - Unstamped Statement of Offense.pdf)

In a plea agreement, Corkins pleaded guilty to three charges: act of terrorism while armed; assault with intent to kill while armed; and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

According to the “Statement of Offense,” assault with intent to kill is an “act of terrorism,” if it is committed with the requisite intent. As it states: “On August 15, 2012, the defendant assaulted [security guard Leo] Johnson and the FRC with the intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia and/or the United Sattes; namely, any and all individuals associated with or supporting the FRC, like-mided organizations, or otherwise holding beliefs contrary to or advocating against gay marriage.”

Michael W. Chapman contributed to this report.

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