WASHINGTON, D.C., September 17, 2012, ( –  When Family Research Council employee Leo Johnson braved three bullets to stop a hate-filled homosexual activist from committing a mass murder, he did not expect to receive an award. But that’s exactly what happened to sustained, enthusiastic applause at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C.

FRC President Tony Perkins bestowed the organization’s “Faith, family, and Freedom citation” upon the man who may have saved a score of lives. “The Lord protected us and used His servant, Leo, to keep us safe that day,” he said.


Leo Johnson – whom Perkins referred to as “Leo the Hero” – works as buildings operations manager at the pro-family group’s D.C. headquarters, a position that secondarily involves providing security. When a gunman who volunteered for a Beltway LGBT organization showed up with a handgun and 15 Chik-fil-A boxes, Johnson was the first person in his sights.

“The trajectory of the round was such that, had Leo not ducked, it would have hit him in the head,” Pekins told the large crowd of conservative Christians in the Omni Shoreham hotel. 

“The second round hit him in the arm, completely disabling his left arm,” Perkins added. 

After a third shot missed, Johnson gained control of the gun – and considered returning violence for violence.

Perkins said that his employee later confided, “’‘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,’ and he obeyed.”

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“Our Leo is a tame lion, living in allegiance to the one true Aslan,” he said.

The first paragraph of the framed citation presented to Johnson stated,

His name means “strong as the lion”. On the morningof August 15, 2012, Leo Johnson came to his daily work with no thought of the strength that would be asked of him. That he would be tested on his willingness, in the words of John 15:13, To lay down his life for his friends. Freely, with the dignity and peace that define him, Leo rose to that test, bore a wound that shattered his arm, and subdued a man bent, all evidence suggests, on mass murder.

A later paragraph added, “Character and courage have never blazed brighter than in the heart of Leo Johnson, who saved his second family and turned away malice at our very door.”

Appearing on stage with his left arm still in a cast, the audience greeted Johnson with 90 seconds of sustained applause, followed by chants of “Leo!”

Johnson, who is still recovering, began unrehearsed remarks that lasted about 10 minutes by saying, “God is tremendous.”  He thanked his wife and children, and his “second family” at FRC.

“During that fateful day – and I think about it a lot – there’s no other place I’d rather have been than right there where I was,” he said.

Johnson concluded, “Thank you – and I will be back.”

Perkins also presented awards to Charles Foster, who placed the 911 call to police, and Randy Burt, who rushed to the foyer during the shooting.