Skip to main content

Who is DC shooting suspect?

By Mike M. Ahlers and Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 10:07 PM EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, allegedly opened fire at the headquarters of a Christian conservative group in Washington on Wednesday, August 15.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, allegedly opened fire at the headquarters of a Christian conservative group in Washington on Wednesday, August 15.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, volunteered at an LGBT center in Washington
  • Corkins had no known job or source of income, no significant criminal record
  • Court filing Wednesday suggests Corkins may have been motivated by ideology

Washington (CNN) -- A day after he allegedly opened fire in the lobby of a Washington office building, in an act that increasingly appears to be politically motivated, Floyd Lee Corkins II remains largely an enigma.

Corkins, 28, was reportedly a volunteer at an organization in Washington serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. CNN was unable to discern a known job or source of income for Corkin and he did not appear to leave a significant online presence. He had no significant criminal record.

But a court filing Wednesday suggests that Corkins may have had something else -- an ideology. And those political leanings could have been behind the Tuesday morning shooting at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian policy group.

Finger-pointing follows shooting

Corkins' parents, interviewed by the FBI following the shooting -- "informed the FBI Special Agents that Corkins has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner," according to the affidavit.

Corkins' antipathy towards those opposed to homosexuality could explain his alleged actions presence at the Family Research Council headquarters, a group that has been outspoken in its opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage, and other hot-button social issues.

FRC shooting victim: Instincts took over
NOM rep: Hate talk totally unacceptable
Suspected gunman ID'd at FRC headquarters
Suspected gunman ID'd at FRC headquarters

After the gunman entered the building, he allegedly shot a security guard without warning, and after being wrestled to the ground, allegedly said words to the effect of "I don't like your politics," according to the affidavit.

Corkins lived with his mother and father in a middle class single-family home in Herndon, Virginia, a Washington bedroom community minutes from Dulles International Airport.

Six years ago, Corkins earned an advanced degree from a college not far from that home. "We can confirm that Floyd Corkins graduated from George Mason with a master's degree from our college of education and human development," said George Mason University spokesman Dan Walsch.

The Washington Post quoted Allan P. Chan, a former George Mason student, as saying he lifted weights and socialized with Corkins. Chan said Corkins was secretive and somewhat odd, and displayed an intense interest in the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, according to the Post.

Mental health evaluation ordered

Prosecutors said they are still investigating the motive behind the shooting, and the motive could determine whether Corkins is charged with domestic terrorism or hate crimes.

Corkins is charged with the federal offense of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition, along with the District of Columbia offense of assault with intent to kill while armed. The offenses carry the following maximum penalties: 10 years imprisonment on the federal offense and 30 years imprisonment on the District of Columbia offense. The District of Columbia offense also carries a mandatory-minimum term of five years imprisonment.

On Thursday, leaders on all sides of the same-sex marriage issue disavowed the use of violence.

"I was shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC Center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence. No matter the circumstances, we condemn such violence in the strongest terms possible," David Mariner, executive director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community said on a note posted on the center's door.

"We hope for a full and speedy recovery for the victim and our thoughts are with him and his family."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT