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New York Times Gets Job Done in FRC Shooting Follow-Up Story

The New York Times followed up Thursday's buried and brief item on the politically motivated shooting at Family Research Council headquarters in D.C. with a solid and balanced story on Friday by Theo Emery and Michael Schmidt, "Role of Politics Is Seen in Shooting of Guard at the Offices of a Conservative Group."

A Virginia man charged with shooting a security guard at the headquarters of a prominent conservative organization told the guard “words to the effect of ‘I don’t like your politics,’ ” according to an affidavit filed in the case on Thursday.

The defendant, Floyd L. Corkins II, 28, appeared briefly in United States District Court here, the day after he was wrestled to the ground in the lobby of the Family Research Council here after shooting a guard who tried to stop him from proceeding farther into the building, the authorities said. Mr. Corkins faces charges of transporting a gun across state lines and assault with intent to kill. He was ordered held without bond, and a detention hearing was scheduled for Aug. 24.

The Family Research Council advocates socially conservative and Christian causes. An affidavit filed by prosecutors indicated that Mr. Corkins, who had volunteered at a Washington community center for gay men and lesbians, “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner.”

The Times included updated details on the shooter that deepened the knowledge of his left-wing motivations:

Investigators said they found a loaded Sig Sauer 9-millimeter pistol and additional ammunition, including two loaded magazines, at the scene. Mr. Corkins also had 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in a backpack. The president of Chick-fil-A, Dan T. Cathy, has stirred ferocious debate over his opposition to same-sex marriage. His stance has been praised by groups like the Family Research Council, but a few mayors, including Vincent C. Gray of Washington, have told the company it is not welcome in their cities.

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At a news conference, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, praised Mr. Johnson -- whose primary job is as building manager -- as a hero and characterized the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.

He said that “reckless rhetoric” aimed at groups like his had motivated Mr. Corkins. He singled out the Southern Poverty Law Center, which characterizes the Family Research Council as a hate group for its political positions on homosexuality.