Indiana Daily Student

Much still unknown after 8 killed in Indianapolis mass shooting Thursday night

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Eight people were killed and at least seven more injured in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis on Thursday just after 11 p.m., according to police. Indianapolis officials, including Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and FBI personnel, provided updates on the shooting at a 10:30 a.m. press conference Friday.

Almost immediately after the shooter arrived at the facility, he stepped out of his vehicle and began firing on people at random in the parking lot, IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said. McCartt said four of the eight victims were killed in the parking lot before the shooter moved inside the facility, killing four more people and then himself.

“He got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility,” McCartt said. “There was no confrontation with anyone that was there. There was no disturbance. There was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”

As of around 11 a.m. Friday, the deceased had not yet been identified, McCartt said. He said the gunman had also not been identified, though Special Agent Paul Keenan, who is in charge of the Indianapolis’ FBI Field Office, said FBI personnel are searching a suspect’s home. The FBI is also assisting on the crime scene and conducting interviews, Keenan said.

McCartt said crime scene processing was still several hours from being finished. 

Keenan said it was too early to speculate on the shooter’s motive. McCartt said he does not yet know whether the shooter had a connection to FedEx. 

The shooter used a .223 caliber rifle, according to police scanner traffic from responding officers. McCartt said at the Friday morning press conference that he believed a rifle was involved. 

McCartt said a FedEx policy requiring employees to turn over their phones during shifts slowed family reunification, but to his knowledge all survivors have been located. Families of victims are still at the family reunification center set up at the Holiday Inn Express on 8555 Stansted Dr. with chaplains, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. 

McCartt also said he could not provide more information about the victims’ or suspect’s identities until they have been positively identified in accordance with state regulations. Positive identification requires analysis of dental, DNA and fingerprint samples and identification by a family member and must be carried out by the coroner’s office.

Alfarena McGinty, chief deputy coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said the office will begin identifying victims once the crime scene investigation is complete. She estimated positive identification as well as official cause of death for all nine of the deceased would be determined within 48 to 72 hours.

Hogsett expressed condolences for the families of the victims as well as the Indianapolis community.

“What we are left with this morning is grief,” Hogsett said. “Grief for the families of those killed, grief for the employees who have lost their coworkers, and grief for the many Americans struggling to understand how tragedies like this continue to occur.”

Hogsett said he supports two federal bills that would require background checks and close loopholes allowing gun sellers to provide weapons before background checks had been completed. Hogsett signed a letter published Tuesday along with 151 other mayors in support of the bills.

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