The suspect in the shooting at a conservative group's office is described as a supporter of gay rights who had Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his bag. The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.
While the FBI says it’s investigating the shooting in the lobby of a national conservative organization in Washington Wednesday as a potential hate crime, experts say the shooting suspect does not fit the typical profile of someone involved in such violence.
Floyd Lee Corkins, who allegedly shot a security officer after saying, “I don’t like your politics,” was characterized, in an affidavit released Thursday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as a strong supporter of gay rights. The shooting took place at the Family Research Council, a conservative think tank known for its opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights.
Mr. Corkins, a volunteer at a community center for gays, held “strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” the FBI affidavit quoted his parents as saying.
According to the affidavit, Corkins was carrying two loaded magazines for a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, a backpack containing 50 rounds of extra ammunition, and 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta-based fast food chain targeted by gay rights groups after its president was quoted as saying he supported “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Corkins was charged Thursday with assault with intent to kill while armed and with interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. The guard, who was shot in the arm, remains hospitalized.
“It’s pretty unusual to find a hate crime from the left end of the [political] spectrum,” says Kathleen Blee, a nationally recognized expert on extremist groups. “Most hate crimes are against vulnerable populations like religious people or minorities.”
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