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Herndon man pleads guilty in D.C. shooting

A 28-year-old man from Herndon, Va., recently admitted his guilt in an Aug. 15 2012, shooting that occurred out of state, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The man was facing three felony charges, including committing an act of terrorism, assault with intent to kill while armed and interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.

Both of his assault charges carry up to a 30-year prison sentence each. The man could pay with up to 10 years in prison for the other charge. A federal judge is expected to sentence the man in the coming months.

The nonfatal shooting occurred in Washington D.C. at the Family Research Council's office. The man told authorities that he targeted the facility in protest of social views he did not agree with. One issue he cited was the recognition of gay marriage. He was against it.

The man entered the facility, according to authorities, looking to gun down as many individuals as possible. Instead, he encountered an unarmed guard. According to evidence gathered by the government, the man retrieved a gun from a backpack he had with him. The guard grabbed him, but it did not stop the man from firing off three shots, one of which hit the guard in his forearm. The guard was still able to detain the man and no one else was injured.

Authorities hailed the efforts of the guard, pointing out that had he not stopped the man, there could have potentially been significant causalities involved. The man's gun was a semi-automatic that he allegedly purchased from a Virginia dealer on Aug. 9 2012, and later returned to the establishment to practice with it.

With the man's own admissions and the incident that played out in front of many witnesses, it would have been nearly impossible for the man to defend himself in criminal court. However, by pleading guilty to his offenses, he opens himself up to a potential reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Charges in Shooting of Security Guard at Family Research Council," Feb. 6, 2013

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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