District of Columbia police are investigating a shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council that injured a security guard Wednesday morning.
The alleged shooter, whose name was not released to media by mid-afternoon, entered the conservative group’s downtown Washington building and opened fire. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier called the guard a hero for subduing the shooter who allegedly expressed disagreement with FRC’s views. Investigators have not determined a motive.
“We don’t know enough about him or his circumstances to determine what his connection is to this group [the research council] or his mental state, or what he was doing or thinking of doing,” said James McJunkin, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “So we’re going to try to sort this all out, pull the evidence together, do all the interviews we can.”
A law enforcement official said the gunman carried a bag containing a Chick-Fil-A bag; the fast-food company’s leader recently expressed views against same-sex marriage similar to those embraced by FRC.
In a statement earlier Wednesday posted on the organization’s Web site, President Tony Perkins said:
"The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."
Former FRC president and current president of American Values Gary Bauer expressed sadness and outrage about the shooting that wounded an employee of the group he helped form
“We at American Values are heartbroken at the news of a shooting today at the Family Research Council. FRC is an outstanding organization. We know it is a faith-based organization, and we join many friends across the country in prayer for the victim and his family, as well as for FRC's dedicated staff, many of whom are close friends.
"Sadly, there are press reports that the alleged gunman opened fire after expressing his opposition to FRC's pro-family, pro-life beliefs. These are views that are widely shared by good and decent Americans across the country. ... Men and women of faith must not be intimidated into silence. I am proud to stand with Tony Perkins and the FRC staff. We will proudly continue to fight the good fight for family, faith and freedom.”
“We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers,” according to a statement posted on the Human Rights Campaign Web site.
“The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.”