Indiana Daily Student

‘8 lives were taken over what?’: Indianapolis in disbelief after 8 killed at FedEx facility

<p>Indianapolis Metropolitan Police personnel talk outside of the FedEx Ground center Friday in Indianapolis. The FedEx center was the site of a mass shooting Thursday, where a gunman killed eight people and then himself. </p>

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police personnel talk outside of the FedEx Ground center Friday in Indianapolis. The FedEx center was the site of a mass shooting Thursday, where a gunman killed eight people and then himself. 

Eight people were killed in what has been the third mass shooting in Indianapolis this year, taking place at a Plainfield FedEx facility Thursday night. 

Shots were fired around 11 p.m. in the facility’s parking lot, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Four people were killed outside the building, and four more inside. The gunman died by suicide at the scene, according to police. 

About 100 people were at the facility at the time of the shooting. An IndyStar analysis found this to be the eighth and deadliest mass shooting in Indianapolis in 15 years. 

The gunman, identified Friday afternoon as Brandon Scott Hole of Indianapolis, was 19 years old.

FedEx officials confirmed Hole was a former employee at the facility, but it is uncertain whether he left the job voluntarily or was fired.

Authorities had started to remove the bodies of the victims from the building around 2 p.m. Friday. Of those identified as of Friday evening are Matthew R. Alexander, 32, Samaria Blackwell, 19, Amarjeet Johal, 66, Jasvinder Kaur, 50, Jaswinder Singh, 68, Amarjit Sekhon, 48, Karli Smith, 19, and John Weisert, 74, according to an IMPD press release Friday night. 

DJ Boyles, 23, has worked as a package handler for FedEx for more than four years. He said he woke up at 3 a.m. Friday to a stream of concerned messages before he was able to piece together what had happened.

“I got over 30 texts asking ‘Hey are you OK? Are you alive?’” he said.

Boyles drove to the facility to learn more about where his coworkers were and if they were safe. That’s where he was around 3 p.m., pacing outside the parking lot IMPD had blocked off from the public. 

He said part of the reason it was difficult to get in contact with his coworkers was because the management at the FedEx facility asks workers to keep their phones in their lockers or cars while on the clock. By the early afternoon, Boyles said he was still waiting to hear from some of his friends.

“I’m pissed off, I’m hurt,” Boyles said. “For someone to come in here and do that shit, there’s no fucking reason.” 

FedEx released a statement Friday morning expressing sympathy for the victims and community affected.

“Our priority right now is in responding to the situation on the ground and helping our team members and law enforcement,” the statement said. “We have a team onsite in Indianapolis to provide support, and we are making counselors available.”

Matthew Banks, 37, is a Plainfield resident who lives a couple miles away from the FedEx facility. He said he heard sirens Thursday night but went to bed assuming there had been a bad car accident.

When he woke up for work around 5 a.m. Friday, he said the news immediately had him in disbelief. 

“My heart dropped,” Banks said. “Just no way, it can’t happen here in our hometown. Not just across the street.”

Banks stood outside the facility with his son around 4 p.m. They watched as IMPD continued to investigate the closed-off scene. He said he does not know anyone currently working there but that the facility is a big part of the community. Banks said it was difficult to be at his job Friday at the Plainfield Dick's Sporting Goods Distribution Center. Some of his coworkers called off for the day, he said.

“Eight lives were taken over what?” he said. “They didn’t do anything wrong. It’s so unfair.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the age of 50-year-old Jasvinder Kaur and misspelled the names of Amarjit Sekhon and Karli Smith based on information provided by IMPD.

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