Indiana Daily Student

Still in shock, FedEx employees return to work Wednesday

<p>Ramandeep Chochan cries into the chest of a loved one Sunday at Monument Circle in Indianapolis. Family members of victims killed in a mass shooting Thursday said that thoughts and prayers are not enough and demanded action going forward.</p>

Ramandeep Chochan cries into the chest of a loved one Sunday at Monument Circle in Indianapolis. Family members of victims killed in a mass shooting Thursday said that thoughts and prayers are not enough and demanded action going forward.

It has been four days since eight of Angel Warman’s coworkers were killed. She will be returning to work this week.

Warman, 49, drove to a prayer vigil in Indianapolis on her motorcycle Sunday. She said she wanted to pay her respects to those who were shot and killed Thursday night at the Plainfield FedEx facility where she has worked for eight years. 

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

She said she had to arrive by motorcycle because her car was no longer driveable after six bullets from the gunman damaged its windows and electrical wiring. 

Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis began shooting in the parking lot of the facility shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday night. Hole used two legally purchased assault rifles, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

[Related: Indianapolis police identify suspect in FedEx mass shooting as 19-year-old former employee]

Warman, who normally works from around 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., said she heard the gunshots come in rounds Thursday night.

“I heard popping noises, and we thought it was firecrackers,” Warman said.

That was when she rushed to tell her other coworkers to hide in the bathroom, later calling 911. As they waited for police to arrive, Warman heard a man screaming for help after he had been shot. She brought the man into the bathroom where her coworkers tried to stop the bleeding as she held the door shut.

By Sunday, she learned that man had survived. The shooting took place in less than four minutes, according to IMPD.

Indiana’s Jake Laird Law, known nationally as a red flag law, allows law enforcement to seize firearms from those experiencing mental health concerns. Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said Monday this law was not implemented in Hole’s case due to its current limitations.

Mears said Hole’s mother reported March 3, 2020, that her son was experiencing suicidal feelings. He was briefly treated by mental health professionals that same day and his shotgun was seized by law enforcement. The family agreed not to reacquire the gun and it is still in the possession of Marion County law enforcement.

Both of the weapons, a Ruger AR-556 and HM Defense HM15F, used in Thursday’s shooting were obtained after Hole had his shotgun confiscated last spring, according to IMPD.

“There’s a significant limitation to the law,” Mears said.

Mears emphasized that even if the prosecutor’s office had decided to petition the use of the red flag law, Hole would have been able to obtain any number of firearms up until a judge decided he was unfit to purchase them.

Warman has been having panic attacks ever since that night and has stopped watching the news, she said. At the vigil where nearly 200 people had gathered, she said she was nervous about people walking too closely behind her. She cannot imagine coming back to work Wednesday without her coworker Matthew Alexander. She said Alexander has worked with her at the facility since she started.

“It just doesn’t seem real,” she said.

[Related: ‘What more can we take?’: Unity, courage, action urged at Indianapolis community vigil]

Vigil organizers Tyshara Loynes and Taylor Hall originally planned the vigil at Monument Circle in honor of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by police April 11 at a traffic stop in Minnesota. However, the two decided to reach out to the families of the victims following the tragedy in their hometown.

Hall described the horror she felt when she slowly realized she knew a victim from her high school.

“It’s just crazy when you know someone so vividly and you see something happen in your community,” Hall said. “Then you realize that was someone you knew and talked to every day. It hurts.”

[Related: IMPD has identified the 8 killed in Indianapolis. At least 4 were Sikhs, coalition says.]

Rep. André Carson, D-7th District, said at the vigil that the shooting — which killed four members of the Sikh community — comes as xenophobic sentiments rise. He pushed for national restrictions and background checks on gun sales in hopes of preventing more gun violence.

[Related: Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton expresses condolences for Indianapolis community after mass shooting]

Carson was joined by Moms Demand Action, a national group advocating for gun legislation. Several volunteers attended the vigil to mourn with the victims’ families.

Maninder Singh Walia, a member of the Indianapolis Sikh community, led the group in prayer before calling on government officials to create noticeable change.

“Can the high authorities hear our voice?” Walia said. “Can President Biden’s team hear us?”

Gurinder Johal, the son of Amarjeet Johal, said there is no one else left for him in the city now that his mother is gone.

“She was my world,” Johal said. “I’m never going to get those calls again, and those were the only calls I looked forward to every day.”

Johal pointed behind him where photos of his mother were surrounded by flowers Sunday afternoon. Hall, one of the organizers, performed a song she wrote before the vigil concluded.

“Tears in my eyes, they keep coming like the rain,” she sang. 

For Warman, coming to Sunday’s vigil was comforting. For now, she said, she will have to wait until Wednesday to see if she can handle working at the facility again.

“I’m just glad to see the different communities coming together,” Warman said. “That’s what needs to happen.”

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