Mental tests ordered for man charged in D.C. guard's shooting
In U.S. District Court, prosecutors charged Floyd Lee Corkins II with assault with intent to kill while armed and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The man authorities say was angry with the conservative stance of the Family Research Council and shot the group's unarmed security guard in a downtown Washington, D.C., office was ordered by a judge Thursday to undergo a mental evaluation.
An FBI affidavit quotes Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Va., telling the guard: "I don't like your politics" as he pulled a 9 mm Sig Sauer pistol from a backpack he had carried with him on Metrorail from East Falls Church, Va.
D.C. police said Corkins shot the guard, Leonardo Johnson, 46, once in the arm and the wounded Johnson helped subdue Corkins and wrestle the gun from him in the building's lobby.
In his bag, court documents say, police found 50 rounds of ammo and 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A.
The head of the Atlanta-based fast-food chain has spoken out against same-sex marriage, a stance embraced by the Family Research Council. Corkins had been volunteering at a support center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Washington.
In U.S. District Court, prosecutors charged Corkins with assault with intent to kill while armed and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Varghese requested a 24-hour mental evaluation of Corkins, which was granted by Magistrate Judge Alan Kay.
Corkins appeared in a white prison jumpsuit, walking into the courtroom quietly between two U.S. marshals. His right eye was blackened and swollen. As Kay outlined the charges against him, he stood and twirled his thumbs with his hands behind his back.
Kay asked Corkins whether he had enough money to pay for an attorney; he said he did not. "I have about $300," Corkins said.
The judge ordered Corkins held without bond until a hearing next Friday.
At a news conference Thursday, the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, condemned what he called "reckless rhetoric" that labels his organization a "hate group," saying it incited the shooting.
The Family Research Council's website says it deals in issues of faith, family and freedom; opposes abortion and euthanasia; and considers homosexuality a sin.
The FBI affidavit says agents interviewed Corkins' parents, with whom he lives; they said their son "has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner."
FBI officials have not commented on a possible motive in the shooting.
Perkins said Johnson, at the time of the confrontation, was unarmed and was wearing a suit, not a uniform.
At the news conference, Perkins singled out the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting his organization on a list of hate groups, saying that gave the gunman "a license to shoot an unarmed man," and he urged that the law center be "held accountable for their reckless use of terminology."
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the law center, called Perkins' accusation "outrageous." He said the council earned the designation for spreading false propaganda about the gay community, not for its opposition to same-sex marriage.
"The (Family Research Council) routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false," he said. "It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people."
Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.