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Terrorism charges filed in Family Research Council shooting

October 24, 2012|By Danielle Ryan
  • Local and federal investigators work to gather evidence after a security guard was shot in the arm at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington.
Local and federal investigators work to gather evidence after a security… (Chip Somodevilla / Getty…)

WASHINGTON – Seven new charges have been filed against Floyd Lee Corkins II, the Virginia man accused of shooting a security guard at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., in August, including one count of committing an act of terrorism while armed.

A federal grand jury Wednesday returned a superseding indictment that lists the six new charges, including attempted murder while armed, aggravated assault while armed, second-degree burglary while armed, and three counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

The decision marks the first time that a defendant has been charged with committing an act of terrorism under the District of Columbia’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002.

Corkins allegedly entered the office of the Family Research Council on Aug. 15 about 10:45 a.m. and opened fired on an unarmed security guard after announcing, “I don’t like your policies.” The Family Research Council is a Christian lobbying group that condemns abortion and disagrees with same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

Despite an arm injury, the guard managed to wrestle the gun from the shooter, who was carrying a backpack containing extra bullets and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

“It is not uncommon for grand juries to return superseding indictments in our federal cases,” said Bill Miller, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

The D.C. terrorism charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. The law’s definition of terrorism includes an act committed with the intent to “intimidate or coerce a significant portion of the civilian population of the District of Columbia or the United States.”

Corkins has been in custody since his arrest after the shooting. He was first indicted a week after the crime took place and was charged with interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, assault with intent to kill while armed and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence. Corkins pleaded not guilty to those charges at the time.

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