Wounded FRC Security Guard: ‘I Feel God Put Me In a Position to Be There At That Time’

August 17, 2012 - 1:19 PM

frc, johnson

FBI outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 15, 2012. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) –The security guard who stopped a gunman at the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday, despite sustaining a shot to the arm, said God put him there at that time to stop the attack. The gunman was carrying a 9mm handgun with two extra loaded magazines and another 50 rounds of ammunition in his backpack.

Leo Johnson, the building operation manager at the FRC, a conservative policy group that promotes "faith, family and freedom," has been hailed as a hero by authorities for not letting an armed gunman get too far past the front door.  In an interview with WJLA-TV, Johnson described how the shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, posed as an intern and opened fire without warning just before 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

"I didn't feel any pain. I felt my arm snap back so I knew I was hit but I didn't feel any pain," said Johnson.

Although wounded, Johnson disarmed and subdued Corkins, who said his actions were not about the security guard but about the policies of the Family Research Council.  As a security guard at the FRC Johnson does not wear a uniform or carry a gun.

"Although I didn't want to get shot, nobody wants to get shot, I feel that God put me in a position to be there at that time,” Johnson said.

FRC President Tony Perkins said he visited his colleague in the hospital where he was recovering, at a press conference on Thursday.

“As he was coming to out of the surgery, I was there and I told him, I said, ‘Leo, I want you to know, you’re a hero and that’s what we believe you are and that’s what Americans all across the country believe you are, a hero, for what you did today,’” Perkins said.

“Well, this hero business is hard work,” Johnson said.

FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier each extolled Johnson as a hero, who “did above and beyond what he was supposed to do.”

According to an FBI affidavit, Corkins was carrying over 50 rounds of ammunition and had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in a backpack when he entered the FRC headquarters located at 801 G Street in Northwest Washington on Wednesday morning.  According to a witness interviewed by the FBI, Corkins said of the FRC, “I don't like your politics.”

The Family Research Council, in its mission statement, states that it “champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.”

The group publicly defended the fast food chain Chick-fil-A after it was thrust into the national spotlight when its CEO Dan Cathy said he supported traditional marriage, in late July.

johnson, frc

FBI and police outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo)

On Aug. 1, after pro-same-sex marriage groups criticized the chain by accusing it of "hate," thousands of supporters flocked to restaurants across the country for “Chick-fi-A Appreciation Day.”

According to the FBI affidavit, Corkins’ parents said their son “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”

Corkins had been volunteering for the last six months at The DC Center for the LGBT Community, which condemned the violence in a statement, which was signed by 40 other local and national LGBT groups.

During the press conference on Thursday, Perkins said Corkins was given a “license” to commit violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which priorto the shooting had put the FRC on its “Hate Map,” claiming the group is “anti-gay.”

Designating organizations as hate groups for disagreeing with public policy positions “marginalizes individuals, letting people feel free to go and do bodily harm to innocent people who are simply working and representing folks all across this country,” Perkins said.

Perkins said he expects Johnson to be back at the FRC “very soon assuming his duties here running the building and making sure this environment is secure,  which he did yesterday, to which our entire team here is grateful.”