Indianapolis shooting: victims' identities released, perpetrator was a former FedEx employee known to the FBI
Indianapolis, Indiana - Eight people were killed in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on Thursday night. The gunman was believed to have taken his own life.
Police responded to a report that shots had been fired at the facility around 11 PM local time, officer Genae Cook of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said at a press conference early Friday morning.
The officers arrived to an active-shooter situation, Cook said.
"The officers responded, they came in, they went in and they did their job," Cook said.
"A lot of them are trying to face this because this is a sight no one should ever have to see."
"We have multiple people with injuries consistent with gunshot wounds. We have others that have been transported to various hospitals throughout the area," Cook said.
One of the victims remains in critical condition, she added.
The gunman took his own life, police said
As several employees at the facility were still being interviewed by detectives, some may not have had the chance to contact their families.
Family members told the New York Times that FedEx employees are generally not allowed to use their phones during work hours, in hope that was the reason they had not heard from them.
Police are asking people with relatives working at the FedEx facility that cannot be reached to meet at the Holiday Inn at 8555 Stansted Drive.
Officers believe the shooter killed himself and there is "no active threat to the community at this time," Cook said.
It is unclear what motivated the shooting, but investigations are ongoing and will continue throughout Friday.
The deadly shooting comes amid a surge of mass shootings across the US since the beginning of this year.
In late March, ten people including a police officer were killed in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. A week before, a gunman had murdered eight people of mostly Asian descent during three different massage parlor shootings in Atlanta.
Update: April 16, 12:20 PM ET
The Indianapolis Police Department has been working alongside the FBI, state law enforcement officers, and the coroner's office to identify the victims and the suspect involved in Thursday night's shooting, IPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said in press conference on Friday afternoon.
Identifications have yet to be made due to the coroner's office not yet having access to the crime scene.
Crime lab personnel are currently logging and gathering all evidence. Once they're done, the coroner's office will be allowed on-site to start the process of making positive IDs.
No information has been given on the suspect and there is no known motive at this time.
Chief McCartt informed reporters that preliminary interviews suggested the shooter drove into the parking lot of the FedEx facility, exited his car, and quickly started a hail of "random shooting" outside the building. After that, he made his way indoors.
Witnesses told law enforcement officers there wasn't any type of confrontation or argument that happened prior to the suspect opening fire.
By the time police arrived on the scene, the shooter had taken his own life, according to Chief McCartt.
Five victims were transported to a local hospital with injuries. Four of those suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds, while the fifth suffered a different, unknown injury.
Witnesses told police the shooting lasted only a few minutes. IPD believes the weapon used was a rifle, but shared no other information.
Local government wants to see gun control action
This was the third mass killing in Indianapolis in 2021, and according to Mayor Joe Hogsett, "Healing does depend on meaningful conversations between people about how we stop this cycle of violence that's driven by readily accessible guns".
Hogsett recently signed a letter along with 150 other US mayors asking the Senate to expand gun control measures.
This includes requiring background checks for all firearm transfers between private citizens, and to close the Charleston loophole, a measure that currently allows someone to purchase a gun without a completed background check if the FBI takes over three days to process the results.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released a statement sharing their condolences for the victims' families and loved ones, and called for legislators to take action.
"Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act", the statement said.
There were 147 mass shootings – defined as incidents with at least four victims – in the US since the start of the year.
Update: April 17, 05:00 AM ET
In a Friday afternoon press briefing, Indianapolis Metro Police Department deputy chief Craig McCartt released the identities of the eight persons killed in the Thursday evening's mass shooting at a FedEx facility.
They are Matthew R. Alexander (32), Samaria Blackwell (19), Amarjeet Johal (66), Jaswinder Kaur (64), Jaswinder Singh (68), Amarjit Sekhon (48), Karli Smith (19), and John Weisert (74).
The shooter has also been identified as 19-year-old Brandon Hole of Indiana, a former FedEx employee. McCartt couldn't say whether he had been fired from his job, but confirmed that Hole had been mentioned in several police reports.
In a statement shared with multiple news outlets, FBI special agent Paul Keenan revealed that Hole was interviewed in 2020, after his mother had warned law enforcement that he was intending to commit suicide by cop. A shotgun was confiscated from his home as a result.
Authorities are still investigating the motive behind Hole's shooting spree.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire