INDIANAPOLIS — A gunman killed eight people and wounded several others before apparently taking his own life in a late-night attack at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, police said, in the latest in a spate of mass shootings in the United States after a relative lull during the pandemic.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the suspect was a former employee of the company.
What You Need To Know
- A gunman killed eight people and wounded several others before killing himself at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, police said
- A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the suspect was a former employee of the company
- The gunman was identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana, two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told The Associated Press
- The investigators searched a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media
"We can confirm that the perpetrator was a former employee at the facility," a spokesperson for FedEx said Friday.
The shooter was identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana, two law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told The Associated Press. The investigators searched a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and 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.
Authorities said earlier that they had not yet discovered the gunman’s motive for opening fire with a rifle late Thursday night at a FedEx processing center near the Indianapolis airport.
Five people were hospitalized after the Thursday night shooting, according to police. One of them had critical injuries, police spokesperson Genae Cook said. Another two people were treated and released at the scene. FedEx said people who worked for the company were among the dead.
At a news conference Thursday, authorities were scant on details. They said it was premature to speculate about a motive and had not yet established if the shooter had a connection to the facility or its employees. They said he appeared to be firing indiscriminately.
“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
Police said “preliminary information from evidence at the scene” indicated that he died by suicide.
Investigators were still processing the crime scene, which authorities said would likely take several more hours. The FBI is helping with the investigation.
“Although we will learn more about this case in the coming days and in the coming weeks, no piece of information will restore the lives that were taken or the peace that was shattered,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. “Nothing we learn can heal the wounds of those who escaped with their lives but who will now bear the scars and endure the memories of this horrific crime.”
Added Indianapolis police Chief Randal Taylor: “I don't honestly know that we'll ever really know all the ins and outs to why this occurred, but we'll certainly do our best.”
There is no further threat to the area, authorities said.
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.”
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.
President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting and ordered flags at federal buildings to be lowered at half-staff.
"Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones," Biden said. "What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation.
"Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act."
Last week, Biden announced six executive orders aimed at gun violence and reiterated the calls he made for Congress to enact gun reform.
"Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation," Biden said in his statement Friday.
Gov. Eric Holcomb others decried the shooting, with some noting how frequent such attacks are.
“We wake up once more to news of a mass shooting, this time in Indiana. No country should accept this now-routine horror. It’s long past time to act,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who is from Indiana, tweeted.
Family members gathered at a nearby hotel to await word on loved ones — and some employees were bused there for tearful reunions. But some people said they still had no information about their relatives hours later. 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?” said Mindy Carson, holding back tears. Her daughter, Jessica, works in the facility and she had not heard from her.
Police were called to reports of gunfire Thursday just after 11 p.m. Indianapolis police Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said responding officers found a “very chaotic” crime scene with several people dead — including the suspect — and others injured.
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.”
He said his niece did not know the shooter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.