In support of the federal charges, authorities said the gun and ammunition were transported across state lines. Police said they found Corkins’s Dodge Neon parked at the East Falls Church Metro station.
No one answered the door at Corkins’s home Thursday. The FBI affidavit says agents interviewed Corkins’s parents, who said their son “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”
FBI officials have not commented on a possible motive in the shooting.
Perkins said he visited Johnson shortly after he emerged from surgery after midnight Wednesday and reported him groggy but in good spirits.
“This hero business is hard work,” Perkins said Johnson told him.
He said Johnson was more than a guard and was also in charge of building services. Not only did he staff the lobby, he meet with top officials and was briefed on threats and planned protests.
Perkins said Johnson, at the time of the confrontation, was unarmed and was wearing a suit, not a uniform.
Joe Carter, a senior editor of Action Institute, a Michigan-based group that focuses on the economy from a Christian perspective, said he knew Johnson from working at the Family Research Council from 2006 to 2008.
“He was the guy who quietly took care of things,” Carter said.“If someone came into the lobby to do something, they weren’t going to get past Leo.”
Johnson’s mother said she saw the story unfold on TV news and knew even before his name became public that it was her son who had been shot. By the time he called her from the hospital, Virginia Johnson said, “I was crying. I was upset. He was trying to calm me down.”
Virginia Johnson said her son, her only child, graduated from Ballou High School in Southeast and went into the security business. “He’s just a good person who tried to help people and never got into trouble,” she said.
In an interview with WJLA-TV (Channel 7), Leonardo Johnson said from his hospital room that Corkins shot him without warning and that he tackled Corkins without realizing that he had been shot. “I didn’t feel any pain,” he told the station. “I felt my arm snap back so I knew I was hit, but I didn’t feel any pain. . . . 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.”
At the news conference, Perkins singled out the Southern Poverty Law Center for putting his organization on a list of hate groups, saying that gave the gunman “a license to shoot an unarmed man,” and he urged that the law center be “held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”
The law center, in a statement, called the accusation outrageous and said the Family Research Council was ”seeking an opportunity to score points” by using the shooting for political purposes.
Mike DeBonis, Justin Jouvenal and Allison Klein contributed to this report.