Family Research Council shooter sentenced to 25 years for terrorism
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The gay activist who opened fire inside the Family Research Council (FRC) last August, injuring a security guard, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorism.
Chief Judge Richard Roberts made the ruling inside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this morning.
Federal prosecutors had asked that Floyd Lee Corkins II serve 45 years in prison for his planned shooting rampage at the Family Research Council last summer. They said Corkins' actions clearly met the definition of terrorism, because he intended “to use acts of violence to terrorize and intimidate those within the District of Columbia and the United States who did not share his political beliefs and views.”
Defense attorneys said Corkins deserved only 11.5 years, saying that he had been mentally ill at the time of the shooting.
FRC employee Leo Johnson, who was shot in the left arm as he stopped Corkins' planned massacre, told his assailant, "I forgive you but I do not forget. If you believe in God you should pray to him everyday, because not only did God save my life that day, he saved yours, too."
It was not the first time they had exchanged words.
On August 15, Corkins entered the FRC building with nearly 100 rounds of ammunition, 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and a list of four socially conservative “hate groups.”
In a videotaped confession, Corkins explained his had planned to "kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces, and kill the guard." He hoped the shooting would "make a statement against the people who work in that building...and with their stance against gay rights."
He said he had also considered bombing the building but settled on entering and shooting the employees of the conservative groups one-by-one.
Standing across the desk inside the entrance, Corkins told Johnson, “I don't like your politics” before opening fire.
Security camera footage released in April shows Corkins missing with his first shot, then shooting Johnson in the arm as he wrestled the gun away.
“The trajectory of the round was such that, had Leo not ducked, it would have hit him in the head,” FRC President Tony Perkins told the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., last September. “The second round hit him in the arm, completely disabling his left arm.”
Once he had the gun, Johnson faced a moment of temptation.
“The thought approached me for a moment whether or not I shoot him, not knowing what he might do, but in that moment the Lord spoke to me saying don’t shoot him,” Johnson told Perkins.
In the filing, prosecutors said without Johnson's heroism, Corkins "would have almost certainly succeeded in committing a massacre of epic portions."
Instead, Johnson kept Corkins corralled as he waited for police to arrive.
Corkins, then 28, had been volunteering at The DC Center for the LGBT Community. He explained to investigators that he used the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) list of allegedly anti-gay "hate groups" to choose his victims.
“Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups," Corkins admitted during his videotaped interrogation. "I found them online, did a little research, went to the website – stuff like that.”
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On February 6, Corkins reversed his not guilty plea and confessed to three charges: one count of committing an act of terrorism with the intent to kill, one count of intent to kill while armed, and one federal count of crossing state lines with guns and ammunition. Seven additional charges were dropped.
The names of all four groups Corkins intended to terrorize have not yet been released. However, Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition learned her organization's name and address was found written in Corkins' pocket.
She told LifeSiteNews.com the Obama administration made no effort to defend TVC against copycat shooters.
“If someone had mailed bacon to a mosque, all heck would have broken loose, and they would have sent in attorneys from the Justice Department...But they ignore the concerns of Christians,” Lafferty told LifeSiteNews.com
“I think Christians need to wake up,” Lafferty said. “We have a government that does not believe they need to protect us.”