The gunman entered the lobby of the organization’s Chinatown headquarters around 10:45 and expressed disagreement with the conservative group’s policy positions, Fox News has learned. When the guard, who was not identified, asked him where he was going, he opened fire, according to police.
The guard, who was not identified, was shot in the arm and was conscious after the shooting and was in stable condition. The gunman, who also was not identified, was being questioned by the FBI, sources said. Sources said he is in his twenties.
The report goes on to say that the shooter may have been carrying a bag from Chick-fil-A.
The FRC is a Christian organization that promotes what it calls “traditionally family values.” It’s been labeled as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Gay and anti-gay organizations were quick to condemn the shooting. The Human Rights Campaign reached out to the FRC via Twitter this afternoon:
Our hearts go out
@frcdc, the victim and family. Violence should never be used to express a viewpoint, no matter what it is.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) August 15, 2012
The Southern Poverty Law Center also condemned the attack in a short statement released today.
We’ve seen news of the shooting of a security guard today at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., and are getting media inquiries about it. There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.
FRC President Tony Perkins shied away from blame this afternoon, simply stating that the organization’s concern was with the guard and his family.
Other groups, however, were quick to call on gay rights activists and organizations to condemn the shooting.
Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, was quoted today decrying the attack and called on gay groups to condemn the shooter.
“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” said Brown.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Family Research Council a ‘hate group’ for its pro-marriage views, and less than a day ago the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement calling FRC a ‘hate group’—they even specified that FRC hosts events in Washington, DC, where today’s attack took place,” Brown continued.
Brown blamed political discourse:
“For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted’ — such harmful and dangerous labels deserve no place in our civil society and NOM renews its call today for gay rights groups and the Southern Poverty Law Center to withdraw such incendiary rhetoric from a debate that involves millions of good Americans.”
“Violence is never the answer, and on that we all must agree, or risk the consequences.”
The Traditional Values Coalition also took to Twitter to blast the Southern Poverty Law Center:
I bet FRC shooter is a Southern Poverty Law Center supporter – but FRC is the “hate group”.
— Traditional Values (@TVC_CapitolHill) August 15, 2012
Some 23-gay rights organizations released a joint statement condemning today’s shooting, according to gay blog Towleroad.
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.
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.
Top photo: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (via Facebook)