Indianapolis FedEx shooter not racially motivated: Police

Published on Jul 30, 2021 12:31 AM IST

The former employee who shot and killed eight people, including four Sikhs, at an Indianapolis FedEx warehouse in April acted alone and was not racially or ethnically motivated, authorities said on Wednesday

Family, friends and community members lay flowers and candles during a vigil in Indianapolis on April 18 to remember the victims of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility. AFP file
Family, friends and community members lay flowers and candles during a vigil in Indianapolis on April 18 to remember the victims of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility. AFP file
ByAssociated Press

The former employee who shot and killed eight people, including four Sikhs, at an Indianapolis FedEx warehouse in April acted alone and was not racially or ethnically motivated, authorities said on Wednesday.

Brandon Scott Hole, 19, used the April 15 attack as an act of “suicidal murder” and believed he would “demonstrate his masculinity and capability” while fulfilling a final desire to experience killing people, Indianapolis police and federal authorities said during a news conference.

Eight employees, including four members of the city’s Sikh community, were killed in the attack and five others were injured, police said.

Police said Hole considered other locations for the shooting but chose the FedEx building because it was familiar to him. He also believed the site would give him access to a large number of vulnerable victims.

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, declined to disclose other potential targets.

“He knew the location well,” Keenan said. “He knew there would be a large group of people there that he would consider targets.”

Hole had suicidal thoughts “almost daily” in the months prior to the attack and attempted suicide on “more than one occasion,” Keenan said. Although Hole had struggled with mental health stressors “throughout his life,” he had no previously diagnosed mental illness, and he did not share his plans for the FedEx shooting with family or friends.

Hole was able to legally purchase the two rifles used in the shooting, even after his mother called police last year to say her son might undertake “suicide by cop.”

Police seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole, then 18, in March 2020 after they received the call from his mother.

Members of the Indianapolis Sikh community pressed local and federal law enforcement for months for an investigation into the shooter’s motive, emphasising concern that Hole chose a place known for hiring people of colour, specifically a Punjabi Sikh-majority.

Important to recognise bias: Sikh Coalition

Sikh Coalition legal director Amrith Kaur said that while “it’s impossible” to know Hole’s thinking, she was disappointed police did not release additional details about how they ruled out bias as a possible motive.

“It is important to recognise that bias can be a factor in addition to these other issues,” Kaur said in a statement. “Though law enforcement has said this investigation is over, for all the families who lost loved ones, the survivors, the Sikh community, and anyone else impacted by hate violence, these questions will remain forever.”

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