A suspect in the shooting of a security guard at the headquarters of a downtown D.C. conservative Christian lobbying firm criticized the group's anti-gay stance before opening fire, a source tells ABC7.
The shooting took place either near or at the offices of the Family Research Council, which is located at 801 G Street, about a block west of the Verizon Center.
The guard, who was shot in the shoulder, was conscious and breathing after the incident. A suspect, who ABC 7's Jennifer Donelan reports was led out of the building in handcuffs, is in custody.
The suspect was taken into custody by the FBI and was being interviewed. Officials say that they not sure about a motive, however, sources say that the suspect walked into the office, made a statement and opened fire.
It is not known that the suspect said; however, multiple sources tell Donelan that the overtones of his statement led to federal law enforcement officials becoming involved in the investigation.
Authorities did not identify the man or disclose where he was being interviewed. Police and FBI officials said it's too early to know the circumstances of the shooting, which occurred around 10:45 a.m., or whether it was connected to the group's activities.
"We don't know enough yet about him ... or mentally what he's thinking," said James McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office.
FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said during a press conference that the injured security guard went "above and beyond" and hailed him as a hero.
In a statement posted, FRC President Tony Perkins said one of the victims worked with the organization.
"The police are investigating this incident," Perkins said in a statement. "Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family."
The Associated Press identifies the FRC as a "conservative Christian lobbying group." On its website, the group says it advocates "faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion."
The Family Research Council advocates conservative positions on social issues and strongly opposes gay marriage and abortion.
Perkins was an outspoken defender of Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's public stand against same-sex marriage, which made the fast-food chain a flashpoint in the nation's culture wars. The Cathy family foundation has funded the Family Research Council.
"He's taking a bold stand," Perkins said after Cathy's comments were reported. "Chick-fil-A is a Bible-based, Christian-based business who treats their employees well. They have been attacked in the past about their stand. But they refuse to budge on this matter, and I commend them for what they are doing."
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