Police: FedEx Shooter Legally Bought Guns Used In Shooting

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The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased the two assault rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent that, police said.

A trace of the two guns found by investigators at the scene revealed that suspect Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, legally bought the rifles in July and September of last year, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Saturday.

IMPD did not share where Hole bought the guns, citing the ongoing investigation, but said Hole was witnessed using both rifles during the assault.

Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt said Hole began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility late Thursday, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself.

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, has said that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology.

A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother’s call. Keenan said the gun was never returned.

Indiana has had a “red flag law” allowing police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence since 2005, when it became one of the first states to enact such a law after an Indianapolis police officer was killed by a man whose weapons had to be returned despite hospitalization months earlier for an emergency mental health evaluation.

The law is intended to prevent people from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are found by a judge to present “an imminent risk” to themselves or others.

Authorities have two weeks after seizing someone’s weapon to argue in court that the person should not be allowed to possess a gun, according to the law. Officials have not said whether a judge made a red flag ruling in Hole’s case.

McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting.

Investigators searched a home Friday in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, McCartt said.

Hole’s family said in a statement they are “so sorry for the pain and hurt” his actions caused.

Members of Indianapolis’ tight-knit Sikh community joined with city officials to call for gun reforms Saturday as they mourned the deaths of four Sikhs who were among the eight people killed.

At a vigil attended by more than 200 at an Indianapolis park Saturday evening, Aasees Kaur, who represented the Sikh Coalition, spoke out alongside the city’s mayor and other elected officials to demand action that would prevent such attacks from happening again.

“We must support one another, not just in grief, but in calling our policymakers and elected officials to make meaningful change,” Kaur said. “The time to act is not later, but now. We are far too many tragedies, too late, in doing so.”

The attack was another blow to the Asian American community a month after authorities said six people of Asian descent were killed by a gunman in the Atlanta area and amid ongoing attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 90% of the workers at the FedEx warehouse near the Indianapolis International Airport are members of the local Sikh community, police said Friday.

Satjeet Kaur, the Sikh Coalition’s executive director, said the entire community was traumatized by the “senseless” violence.

“While we don’t yet know the motive of the shooter, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees,” Kaur said.

There are between 8,000 and 10,000 Sikh Americans in Indiana, according to the coalition. Members of the religion, which began in India in the 15th century, began settling in Indiana more than 50 years ago.

The shooting is the deadliest incident of violence collectively in the Sikh community in the U.S. since 2012, when a white supremacist burst into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and shot 10 people, killing seven.

Update (4/16/21):

Authorities have identified the suspect in a shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana.

Two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter provided the identity to The Associated Press. The investigators are searching a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and have seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, the officials said. The officials could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The shooting Thursday night left eight people dead and several wounded.

Original Story (4/16/21):

INDIANAPOLIS — Police scoured a Fedex facility in Indianapolis and interviewed scores of witnesses Friday in search of a motive for the latest mass shooting to rock the U.S., as family members of the eight victims spent agonizing hours waiting for word on their loved ones.

Authorities identified the shooter as a young man in his 20s. They said they could not yet say why he opened fire with a rifle late Thursday night at a FedEx processing center near the Indianapolis airport.

Police Chief Randal Taylor also noted that a “significant” number of employees at the facility are members of the Sikh community. Taylor spoke from a hotel where family members are awaiting word on their loved ones. He says he will stay with the families until they get more information.

Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the gunman started randomly shooting at people in the parking lot and then went into the building and continued firing. He said the gunman apparently died by suicide shortly before police entered the building.

“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” he said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”

McCartt said four people were killed outside the building and another four inside. Several people were also wounded, including five taken to the hospital.

The carnage took just a couple of minutes. “It did not last very long,” he said.

Officials with the coroner’s office said they had not been able to get to the scene to identify the victims because evidence is still being collected.

The families’ agonizing waiting was exacerbated by the fact that most employees aren’t allowed to carry cellphones inside the FedEx building, making contact with them difficult.

“When you see notifications on your phone, but you’re not getting a text back from your kid and you’re not getting information and you still don’t know where they are … what are you supposed to do?” Mindy Carson said early Friday, fighting back tears.

At 11:30 a.m., Carson said she had just heard from her daughter, Jessica, who works in the facility. She said her daughter was OK and she was going to meet her, but didn’t say where.

It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the U.S. Last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

It was at least the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis alone. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.”

President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting and called gun violence “an epidemic” in the U.S.

“Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation,” he said in a statement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “horrified and heartbroken” by the shooting and called for congressional action on gun control.

“As we pray for the families of all affected, we must work urgently to enact commonsense gun violence prevention laws to save lives & prevent this suffering,” the Democratic leader said in a tweet.

A witness said that he was working inside the building when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession.

“I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until April 20, and he and others decried the shooting, with some noting how frequent such attacks are.

Chris Bavender, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, said that they are helping the police with the investigation.

A man told WTTV that his niece was sitting in the driver’s seat of her car when the gunfire erupted, and she was wounded.

“She got shot on her left arm,” said Parminder Singh. “She’s fine, she’s in the hospital now.”