Washington (CNN) — Police are investigating what prompted a man to walk in to the lobby of a conservative political organization on Wednesday morning and open fire, wounding a security guard.
The guard, who was shot in the arm, helped wrestle the gunman to the ground, police said. The guard was reported to be in stable condition.
A law enforcement official said the gunman, described as a man in his late 20s, made some remarks about the organization — the Family Research Council — before opening fire. He is now in custody, but has not been formally charged, the FBI said.
The shooting occurred about 10:45 a.m. in the lobby of the council, a Christian group that has pushed family and anti-abortion issues and religious liberties. It has been a leading opponent of same-sex marriage.
Investigators said that it was too early to say whether the organization was targeted for its political views, but made clear that would be part of the investigation.
“We don’t know enough yet about him or his circumstances to be able to determine his connection to this group or to the business or to what, you know, mentally what he’s doing or thinking. So we’re going to try to sort it all out, and pull the evidence together, do as many interviews as we can, and get it all together,” said FBI Assistant Director James McJunkin.
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the man entered the building in downtown Washington and was “confronted by a security guard.”
The suspect opened firing, striking the guard.
“The security officer here is a hero as far as I’m concerned. He did his job. The person never made it past, father then the front door,” Lanier said.
Law enforcement officials are interviewing the guard and others.
The FBI’s Jacqueline Maguire said the case is being worked jointly by the FBI and the Metropolitan Police Department “to determine motive/intent and whether a hate crime/terrorism nexus exists.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said “our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”
Launched in 1983, the Family Research Council says it promotes “faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion.”