Security guard shot in attack on Family Research Council office building

A security guard was shot in an attack Wednesday morning at the Family Research Council building in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown. 

The incident occurred at 10:45 a.m. in the building’s lobby. A male suspect was taken into custody without injury and the security guard is in stable condition, according to Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Araz Alali.

The department declined to comment further on what precipitated the shooting.

The FBI is participating in the investigation of the incident, but has yet to determine the suspect’s connection to the Family Research Council. A bomb squad was sent to the scene after the incident took place, as is standard procedure, and deemed the area secure, FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Callahan wrote in an email.


The president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group that is active in the political world, said police are looking into what motivated the attack.

“The police are investigating this incident,” said FRC President Tony Perkins. “Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”

Local news reports have indicated the shooting was connected to the group’s conservative leanings. The gunman reportedly posed as an intern and shot the security guard after expressing his disagreement with the council’s policy positions, Fox News reported Wednesday afternoon.

The Family Research Council says its work in Washington has "advanced faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion." The group was added in 2010 to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups because of anti-gay comments it has made.

The council and a contingent of conservative lawmakers, including then-Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Ohio) and then-Minority Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorRepublicans eager to take on Spanberger in Virginia Virginia emerging as ground zero in battle for House majority McAuliffe's loss exposes deepening Democratic rift MORE (R-Va.), asked the SPLC for a debate on the matter, which it declined. 

The country’s largest Republican gay-rights group, the Log Cabin Republicans, said that while it doesn’t agree with many of the Family Research Council’s positions on gay and lesbian rights issues, it condemned Wednesday’s shooting as a senseless and abhorrent act of violence.

“Though we rarely see eye to eye, we absolutely condemn the violence that occurred today," said R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.

“Keeping in mind that at this time we know little about the shooter or his motives, whatever our political disagreements, in this country, we use ballots, not bullets, to address them. We offer prayers for the injured security guard, his family, and everybody at the FRC building, barely a 15-minute walk away from Log Cabin Republicans national headquarters. In many ways, this is a reminder that we aren't so far apart.”

—This story was last updated at 3:22 p.m.