(WASHINGTON) — A gunman opened fire on a security guard at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of a conservative Christian organization only to be tackled and subdued by the guard whom he had just shot in the arm, authorities said.
The shooter entered the offices of The Family Research Council and fired a handgun at the guard around 10:50 a.m. EDT. The man was subsequently subdued by the injured guard and others. Police arrested the gunman and authorities say he is being interviewed by the FBI.
The security guard, who has been hailed by police as a hero for averting a rampage, was taken to a nearby hospital.
“The security guard here is a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” said Metro Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier. “He did his job. The person never made it past the front.”
Later in the afternoon authorities widened the security perimeter around the building when a suspicious package was discovered.
The suspect has not yet been identified.
“We don’t know enough about him or his circumstances…we are going to try to sort this all out, pull the evidence and do all the interviews we can,” said James McJunkin, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued a statement on the organization’s Web site.
“The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family,” Perkins said.
The Family Research Council was founded in 1983 by James Dobson. Today Perkins heads the organization, which is vocal lobbying group for conservative Christian social issues, including opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Frank Pallotta, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Jim Acosta and Daniella Diaz, CNN