The left-of-center Southern Poverty Law Center has weighed in on Wednesday’s shooting at the headquarters of a conservative family-advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
The SPLC, which has labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group” for its advocacy of traditional marriage, condemned violence of all kinds Wednesday but did not comment further on the shooting that left a security guard wounded.
“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,” SPLF’s Hatewatch staff wrote in a statement. “There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.”
The FBI is treating the shooting as a case of domestic terrorism, saying the suspect’s motives are unclear.
Sources have told the Fox News Channel that after the security guard disarmed him, the suspect said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) condemned the SPLC Wednesday for vilifying the Family Research Council.
“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” NOM president Brian Brown said in a statement. “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.”
The gay-rights Human Rights Campaign also condemned the attack on FRC in a joint statement with other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual organizations.
“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,” they wrote. “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.”
Security guard Leo Johnson was transported to a local hospital, reportedly with a bullet wound to his arm.