Family Research Council shooter apologizes, gets 25 years for sh - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Family Research Council shooter apologizes, gets 25 years for shooting

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Floyd Corkins II Floyd Corkins II
WASHINGTON -

The man who tried to kill staff members at a conservative think tank in Washington D.C. has been sentenced to a prison term of 25 years. The judge in the case publicly praised an unarmed employee of the group for taking on the gunman and likely stopping a massacre.

47-year-old Leonardo Johnson isn't a security guard, but his quick action in August of 2012 saved his own life, and possibly the lives of many others who work at the Family Research Council. Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the headquarters of the conservative think tank 13 months ago, and pulled out a handgun.

Unarmed Johnson, the building manager who was minding the front desk, charged the gunman. Corkins began firing. Johnson's left arm was shattered by one of three bullets shot, but he kept fighting the gunman, and eventually seized the weapon.

The bullet that entered his left arm broke both major bones. Reporters asked Leonardo Johnson how he could have kept fighting the gunman.

"Part of it was adrenaline," replied Johnson. "The other part was: I had to fight for my life. I realized that if I didn't get the gun from Mr. Corkins, he was going to kill me. And he was going to kill all of my co-workers. I had to fight for my life, literally."

The gunman, Corkins, later told FBI agents that he planned a mass killing at the Family Research Council because of the group's opposition to gay marriage. He brought a bag full of Chick fil-A sandwiches with him. (The founder of Chick fil-A also opposes gay marriage.) Corkins told investigators he was going to smear the sandwiches in the faces of the FRC employees after he killed them.

The defense told the judge that Corkins was (and is) mentally ill, and asked for a sentence no longer than eleven-and-a-half years.

Prosecutors called Corkins a "high functioning" individual who planned shootings at three other (unnamed) conservative groups.

Corkins apologized in court to his victim, and said he now realizes that "violence to achieve a political end is never OK."

The shooting victim then addressed the courtroom, at one point addressing his comments directly at the gunman. Johnson then repeated his remarks for reporters and photographers outside.

"I told Mr. Corkins that although I forgave him, I would never forget because the pain and suffering that myself and my family have to go through. And I also told him I don't know if he believes in God or not. If he didn't, I suggested that he should find God (and if he did) he should praise Him and thank Him every day, because God not only saved my life that day, but He saved his [life] as well."

U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts noted that the gunman had brought 95 bullets with him, and the carnage was stopped only because an "ordinary man showed extraordinary courage."

Corkins was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The head of the Family Research Council expressed satisfaction with the long prison sentence for the shooter -- as a deterrent to others.

FRC President Tony Perkins told reporters that security has been enhanced at the group's D.C. headquarters. Perkins also said the FRC's conservative views on gay marriage remain unchanged.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Last Modified: Apr 29, 2013 5:36 AM EST

…Meanwhile, the accused shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, was ordered held without bond on ……lobby of the council's headquarters. Corkins , whose parents said he strongly supported …… It wasn't immediately clear why Corkins , 28, had the chicken sandwiches. …

Last Modified: Feb 06, 2013 10:51 AM EDT

… A grand jury indicted Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, on a federal charge ……violence. Charging documents show Corkins was carrying a handgun, a box of ammunition ……operations manager, helped to subdue Corkins after being wounded in the arm, authorities …

Last Modified: Sep 05, 2012 3:08 PM EST

…said the man, identified as Floyd Lee Corkins II, entered the front lobby of the Family ……security guard and then shot him in the arm. Corkins , 28, was restrained by the wounded guard …… Authorities were interviewing Corkins to determine a reason for the shooting …

Last Modified: Aug 29, 2012 5:18 PM EST

…recommends the 45-year sentence for Floyd Corkins II. A security guard subdued Corkins in the lobby of the Family Research Council in August after he pointed a pistol at the man. Corkins fired three shots, and the guard was the only …

Last Modified: Apr 22, 2013 3:39 PM EST

…Monday set a July 15 sentencing date for Floyd Corkins II of Herndon, who prosecutors say planned ……recommended a 45-year prison sentence for Corkins . A security guard subdued Corkins in the lobby of the Family Research Council …

Last Modified: Apr 29, 2013 3:37 PM EST

…incident. Convicted shooter Floyd Corkins walked in off the street with a 9 mm semi ……its website. "I blame Floyd Lee Corkins for the shooting, but he admitted he ……to repair damage to his forearm. Corkins has pleaded guilty to three charges …

Last Modified: Apr 25, 2013 11:53 PM EST

…Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Floyd Corkins II, 28, acknowledged in a plea agreement ……marriage if he wasn't stopped. Corkins intended to smear the sandwiches in the …… Prosecutors said Wednesday that Corkins was allowed to enter the downtown Washington …

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2013 10:49 AM EDT

…Christian lobbying group. Floyd Lee Corkins II was charged in a new indictment this ……faces. He remains ordered held. Corkins , who had volunteered at a community ……Washington. The guard helped take down Corkins , who authorities say was carrying ammunition …

Last Modified: Nov 09, 2012 7:44 PM EDT

… A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Floyd Corkins . The new indictment will include charges already filed ……offenses that include committing an act of terrorism. Corkins remains in jail.

Last Modified: Nov 08, 2012 6:38 AM EDT

    …Johnson was able to help restrain the shooter. Floyd Lee Corkins II is accused of opening fire inside the headquarters of a conservative Christian lobbying group. Authorities say Corkins told the Johnson that he didn't like the group's policies …

    Last Modified: Feb 06, 2013 10:51 AM EDT

    …announced a series of new charges Wednesday against Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was arrested two months ago and accused of opening ……prison sentence of 30 years in prison. Prosecutors say Corkins told the guard, Leo Johnson, that he didn't like the organization …

    Last Modified: Nov 07, 2012 4:26 PM EDT

    …was working security in the lobby when a gunman walked inside and opened fire last month. Authorities say the suspect, Floyd Corkins , disagreed with the politics of the FRC, and that he had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches and dozens of rounds of ammunition …

    Last Modified: Feb 06, 2013 10:51 AM EDT

    …shooting on August 15 says Floyd Lee Corkins has been found competent to stand trial. In court Friday afternoon, Corkins plead not guilty to all three charges ……were hoping to learn more about what Corkins ' alleged intentions were that morning …

    Last Modified: Sep 07, 2012 3:39 PM EST

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