Indianapolis shooting: Sikh community mourns as 4 members were among victims in FedEx facility

Gunman who killed 8 people at Indianapolis FedEx facility as 19-year-old former employee

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“Our community has a long road of physical, mental and spiritual healing to recover from this tragedy,” Maninder Singh Walia told CNN Friday night.

Eight people were killed and several others injured Thursday night when a former FedEx employee opened fire before killing himself. Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the shooting.

Indianapolis police released the names of the eight deceased victims on Friday evening. They are: Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48 years old; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.

A statement from the Indiana Metropolitan Police Department said the next of kin had been notified by the Marion County coroner’s office. The cause of death will be determined once the autopsies are completed, the statement said.

Walia said four of the eight victims were Sikhs.
The community has grown in Indiana in recent years, he said. When he moved to the area in 1999, there were approximately 50 families in the area. Now, there are more than 10,000 families who have come to Indianapolis for economic opportunities and good schools, Walia said.

“It is a tragedy for all of us and we are all family,” he said. ” We are neighbors. We will do all we can to help our city heal in the weeks and months to come. It’s not like she’s going to go away. “

The Sikh Coalition noted that the first gurdwara or place of worship was established in Indiana in 1999. “Although we do not yet know the gunman’s motive, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees. , and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence, ”Satjeet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh coalition, said in a statement.

The attack marks at least the 45th mass shooting in the United States since the spa shooting in the Atlanta area on March 16. CNN considers an incident to be a mass shooting if four or more people, excluding the shooter, are injured or killed by gunshot.

It is the deadliest shooting since 10 people were killed on March 22 at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

How the night went

The shooting lasted only a few minutes, police said.

It started when the gunman “got out of his car and quickly started shooting at random outside the facility,” Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt said.

The gunman then “got inside and didn’t get very far into the facility at all,” while shooting other people, McCartt said.

FedEx employee Laveda Chester told CNN’s “OutFront with Erin Burnett” that she was arriving for her night shift when she heard a pop and thought maybe it was a car accident. . She said she looked around and didn’t see any. But then she saw the gunman running towards the building with a gun in his hand.

She waited for him to come in so she could leave without attracting the shooter’s attention. She went to another parking lot and called the police. She said she then tried to warn other workers who were arriving that a shooting was in progress. Some stopped and some passed it.

Investigators heard that the shooting lasted “only a few minutes – that it didn’t last very long,” McCartt said.

“My understanding is that by the time the officers entered … the situation was over – that the suspect committed suicide very shortly before the officers entered the facility,” McCartt told reporters.

There were at least 100 people in the facility when the shooting started, he said. Many were on break for dinner or changing jobs.

Four people were found dead outside and four others, not including the gunman, were dead inside, McCartt said.

A crime lab tech (left) works in the parking lot at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.A crime lab tech (left) works in the parking lot at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.

The police try to understand the motive

On Friday afternoon, McCartt identified the shooter as 19-year-old Brandon Hole, who was last employed by FedEx in 2020.

Authorities have been warned of FedEx gunman Brandon Hole's potential for violence, sources sayAuthorities have been warned of FedEx gunman Brandon Hole's potential for violence, sources say

In March 2020, Hole’s mother told law enforcement that he could attempt “to commit suicide by a cop,” the FBI office in Indianapolis said in a statement.

The special agent in charge, Paul Keenan, said Hole was taken into immediate custody on mental health grounds by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. He also said that a shotgun was seized at the Hole residence.

“Based on elements observed in the suspect’s room at that time, he was questioned by the FBI in April 2020,” the statement said. “No racially motivated violent extremism (RMVE) ideology was identified during the assessment and no criminal offenses were found. The shotgun was not returned to the suspect. “

McCartt told reporters Indianapolis police found Hole’s name in two previous incident reports. The deputy chief had no information about the first report. The details he described in a 2020 report match the FBI statement.

When asked what brought the suspected gunman to the FedEx facility at around 11pm Thursday, McCartt replied, “I wish we could answer that. “

Amanda Watts, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Kay Jones, Alta Spells, Meredith Edwards, Jason Carroll, Melissa Alonso, Madeline Holcombe, Joe Sutton and Keith Allen contributed to this report.

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