INDIANAPOLIS – Police were working on Friday to identify a rifleman and determine his motive for opening a fire at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport. Eight people were killed and their lives were taken in recent mass shootings to rock the United States
Indianapolis Police Department deputy chief Craig McCartt said the shooter randomly shot people in the parking lot late Thursday night and then went into the building and continued shooting. He said the shooter apparently died of suicide shortly before entering the building.
“There was no confrontation with anyone who was there,” he said. “There was no interference, there was no argument. He just seemed to start shooting by chance. “
McCartt said four people were killed outside the FedEx processing facility and another four were killed inside the FedEx processing facility. Several people were also wounded, including five who were rushed to hospital.
The carnage only lasted a few minutes. “It didn’t take very long,” he said.
Forensic Medicine officials said they could not be on site to identify the victims as evidence is still being collected.
In the aftermath of the shootings, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must protect itself from resigning and “assuming that this must be so and that we might as well get used to it.”
It was the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States. Last month, eight people were fatally shot in massage shops in the Atlanta area and ten were killed in gunfire in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
It was at least the third mass shooting that year in Indianapolis alone. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot dead in January and one man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during a quarrel in a house in March.
A witness said he was working in the building when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession.
“I see a man come out with a gun in hand and he starts shooting and he starts screaming things that I couldn’t understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “In the end I ducked to make sure he didn’t see me because I thought he would see me and he was going to shoot me.”
Family members gathered at a nearby hotel to wait for news from loved ones – and some employees were taken to tearful reunions there. But hours later, some people said they did not have any information about their relatives. Most employees are not allowed to carry cell phones in the FedEx building, which makes contact with them difficult.
“If you see notifications on your phone but don’t get a text back from your child and receive no information and you still don’t know where they are … what should you do?” Mindy Carson said, holding back tears in the early hours of Friday morning. Her daughter Jessica works at the facility and she hadn’t heard from her.
Governor Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be hoisted on half poles by April 20, and he and others condemned the shooting, with some noting how common such attacks are.
“We wake up again to the news of mass shootings, this time in Indiana. No country should accept this now routine horror. It’s long gone to act, ”tweeted Indiana-born Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said she was “horrified and heartbroken” by the shooting in Indianapolis and called for congressional action to control weapons.
“As we pray for the families of all concerned, we must work urgently to pass sensible gun violence prevention laws to save lives and prevent this suffering,” the Democratic leader said in a tweet.
President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were both notified of the shooting, and Biden’s chief of staff and Homeland Security adviser have contacted local leaders and law enforcement officers in Indianapolis.
Chris Bavender, a spokesman for the Indianapolis FBI office, said they are helping the police investigate.
One man told WTTV that his niece was in the driver’s seat of her car when the fire broke out and she was wounded.
“She was shot in the left arm,” said Parminder Singh. “She is fine, she is in the hospital now.”
Casey Smith is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a not-for-profit national service program in which journalists report undercover issues to local newsrooms.