On April 16 2021 at 11 p.m., a hooded figure opened the doors to a local Fedex and “fired into the open”, killing 8 victims. As another mass shooting in the United States, officials are working to identify the cause, motive, and logistics of the shooting.
The night after on Friday, the Indianapolis police publicized the names of the eight deceased victims: 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. Upon name release, locals are coming together to grieve for their families and friends.
Receiving attention at the national level, President Joe Biden spoke on this incident and gun violence in general. “It is a national embarrassment, what’s going on,” President Biden said. “And it’s not only these mass shootings that are occurring. Every single day, every single day, there’s a mass shooting in the United States if you count all those who are killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas. It’s a national embarrassment and must come to an end.”
Officials also released the gunman’s identity as 19 year old Brandon Scott Hole. However, recent uncoverings have revealed that Hole had already been under the police’s watch and radar. According to the Indianapolis police department, Mr. Hole worked at the same FedEx building last year in 2020 with the no known unemployment reasoning. In March 2020, the mother of Hole called law enforcement, reporting that she feared Hole was on the verge of committing suicide. The special agent of FBI’s Indianapolis office, Paul Keenan, said in an official statement that Hole was attempting “suicide by cop”. In alert, the police put Hole in a “mental health temporary hold” where they examined his mental status. At the conclusion of that incident, officials agreed there were no “violent racially motivated ideologies” and law enforcement took his shotgun, which was never returned to Hole.
Hole’s family said they were devastated by the killings, noting, “We tried to get him the help he needed.”
Authorities revealed that the guns Hole used to commit mass murder were legally purchased assault rifles. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were able to trace the two guns and found that Hole purchased one in July 2020 and the other in September 2020, both after he was admitted to the police for mental instability.
Currently, officials are still working to find traces of any motive though four of the eight victims were members of the local Sikh community.
“Our community has a long road of healing physically, mentally and spiritually to recover from this tragedy,” Marinder Singh Walia said.
The Sikh coalition responded to the Biden administration that “The people that were shot and killed were not random targets. As such, we implore the Administration to ensure that this shooting is not simply dismissed by the media or law enforcement and acknowledge what it is — a deliberate act intended to inflict the most harm against diverse Americans.”
This attack marks at least the 45th mass shooting of the US in just the last month. A mass shooting is defined as four or more casualties.
The mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, told reporters of the “scourge of gun violence that has killed far too many” in his city and in the country as a whole. “What we are left with this morning is grief,” he said, “grief for the families of those killed, grief for the employees who have lost their co-workers and grief for the many Americans struggling to understand how tragedies like this continue to occur, again and again.”