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After Mr. Corkins was arrested, police found 50 rounds of ammunition and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches in his backpack, according to court documents.

The Family Research Council has been outspoken on hot-button social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Most recently, it spoke out in support of fast-food chain Chick-fil-A after same-sex marriage advocates expressed outrage at a comment by company President Dan Cathy that his business supported traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

Mr. Corkins‘ parents also told investigators Wednesday that their son “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” court documents state.

Mr. Corkins is known to have volunteered with the DC Center, an organization that supports gay, bisexual and transgender people.

DC Center Executive Director David Mariner said he was shocked about the news.

Mr. Perkins said he appreciated the outpouring of support from people and groups around the world, including those with political views that are fundamentally opposed to the council‘s, but nonetheless “expressed their outrage at what took place here.”

Mr. Perkins said he visited his colleague at the hospital late Wednesday night, after the officer came out of surgery, and told him he was a hero.

“He said, ‘This hero business is hard work,’ ” Mr. Perkins recalled. “So he did not lose his sense of humor.”