D.C. police said that Corkins shot the guard, Leonardo R. Johnson, 46, once in the arm and that Johnson, though wounded, helped subdue the suspect and wrestle the gun from him in the building’s lobby on G Street NW.
In his bag, court documents say, police found 50 rounds of ammunition and 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, which combined with the suspect’s statement added a political dimension to the shooting.
The head of the Atlanta-based fast-food chain has spoken out against same-sex marriage, a stance embraced by the Family Research Council. Corkins had been volunteering at a U Street NW support center for the gay community.
On Thursday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and the head of the FBI’s District field office visited Johnson’s 72-year-old mother and 102-year-old grandmother at their house in Southeast Washington, and they credited him with preventing a tragedy.
In an interview, Virginia Johnson said she was proud of her son for subduing the gunman and “so happy” to hear the District’s police chief call him a hero.
“I’m sorry for what happened and the way he got hurt,” Virginia Johnson said. She spoke with her son when he called from a hospital moments after she saw news of the shooting on television newscasts.
“Yes, I’d say he was a hero,” she said.
Meanwhile, in U.S. District Court, prosecutors charged Corkins with assault with intent to kill while armed and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition. Assistant U.S. Attorney George P. Varghese requested a 24-hour mental evaluation of Corkins, which was granted by Magistrate Judge Alan Kay.
Corkins appeared in a white prison jumpsuit, walking into the courtroom quietly between two U.S. marshals. His right eye was blackened and swollen. As Kay outlined the charges against him, he stood and twirled his thumbs with his hands behind his back.
Kay asked Corkins whether he had enough money to pay for an attorney; he said he did not. “I have about $300,” Corkins said in a soft, clear voice.
During the proceedings, which lasted about 20 minutes, the judge ordered Corkins held without bond until a hearing scheduled for next Friday.
At a news conference Thursday, the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, condemned what he called “reckless rhetoric” that labels his organization a “hate group,” saying it incited the shooting.
The Family Research Council’s Web site says it deals in issues of faith, family and freedom; opposes abortion and euthanasia; and considers homosexuality a sin. Perkins told reporters that his group might not have been the only target. But he and his spokesmen declined to elaborate.