More than 20 hours after a shooter opened fire on Thursday night, April 15, eight victims of the mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis were confirmed dead by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The identified victims were 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. Some family members of victims who were Sikh provided different spellings and ages: Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Amarjit Sekhon, 49; and Jaswinder Singh, 70.
As previously reported, after the shooting, police said a significant number of employees at the Indianapolis site are Sikhs, but it was unclear if they were being targeted specifically. “We are sad to confirm that at least four of those killed in Thursday night’s attacks are members of the Indianapolis Sikh community,” the Sikh Coalition, a national nonprofit organization, said on Twitter.
Further update: We are sad to confirm that at least four of those killed in Thursday night’s attacks are members of the Indianapolis Sikh community. https://t.co/Uso0qL8uh8
— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) April 16, 2021
The 19-year-old shooter, Brandon Scott Hole, was a former employee at FedEx. His mother had alerted law enforcement officers last year that he might try to commit “suicide by cop.” The gunman was investigated by federal agents in April 2020, and he was placed on an “immediate custody mental health temporary hold,” according to an F.B.I. special agent.
Hole left FedEx for unknown reasons, according to Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. To dater, his motive for the shootings is still unknown.
When the gunfire erupted on Thursday, an employee at the facility said workers usually took a break and chill in the parking lot. “Most go to their cars to listen to music, smoke a cigarette, eat some food,” said the employee, D.J. Boyles, 23, who said he has worked as a package handler there for almost five years.
“He just appeared to randomly start shooting,” informed Chief McCartt, who said there were at least 100 employees at the FedEx site at the time, many of whom were shifting shifts and taking a dinner break.
Hole started shooting in the parking lot, then he continued shooting inside the building, and eight people were fatally shot, the authorities said. Five others who were injured were taken to hospitals, including one in critical condition who was expected to survive. Two others were treated at the scene and released.
“It was no accident that the shooter targeted this particular FedEx facility where he had worked and knew was overwhelmingly staffed by Sikhs,” said the national Sikh Coalition in a statement Saturday. “This was not a crime of convenience or a spur-of-the-moment attack. It was one of methodical planning and selection which echoes the targeting of Asian American spa parlors in Atlanta exactly one month ago.”
The shooting in Indianapolis occurred just weeks after mass shootings in Atlanta spas that killed eight people and one in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that killed ten people.
Democrats have been pushing for gun control in the aftermath of the shooting in Boulder in March. But in a response, conservative commentator Candace Owens voiced against the Democrats.
“The ‘let’s make guns illegal’ crowd still hasn’t quite figured out that we’ve already made shooting-up-grocery-stores-filled-with-innocent people illegal. Criminals don’t care about your laws, folks! Otherwise, they’d be law-abiding citizens,” Owens tweeted.
The “let’s make guns illegal” crowd still hasn’t quite figured out that we’ve already made shooting-up-grocery-stores-filled-with-innocent people illegal.
Criminals don’t care about your laws, folks! Otherwise, they’d be law-abiding citizens.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) March 24, 2021
President Biden voiced support for stricter gun control measures, such as universal background checks and an assault weapon ban, but said it was up to Senate Republicans to take up the legislation.