© Reuters. People hug after learning their loved one was safe from the mass shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
By Steve Gorman
(Reuters) – Half of eight workers were shot dead by a former employee at a FedEx (NYSE) facility in Indianapolis before committing suicide in the Sikh religious community, leading a lobbying group to urge an inquiry about possible racial or ethnic hatred. as a factor.
Law enforcement officials said on Friday that they have yet to determine what motivated 19-year-old white man Brandon Hole to carry out the massacre on Thursday night, at an activism center. FedEx International Airport near Indianapolis International Airport.
The attack in the state capital of Indiana, the third most populous city in the Midwest, is the latest of at least seven mass shootings in the United States in the past month.
It happened more than a year after Hole was briefly under police custody when his mother reported that she was concerned that he was attempting to “commit suicide by the police,” according to the FBI. A handgun was confiscated from his home.
Paul Keenan, a special agent in charge of the FBI office in Indianapolis, said FBI agents interviewed the teen last April and determined he did not possess “racial motivated violent extremism. “.
But the New York-based Sikh Coalition, a civil rights group, has called for a full investigation into the “possibility of bias as a factor” in the FedEx murders.
Gurinder Singh Khalsa, an entrepreneur and local Sikh community leader, said four members of the Sikh faith – three women and one man – were among those killed in Thursday night’s shootings, and at least one Sikh was injured. brief notification from the victim’s family
Singh Khalsa also told Reuters that most of the employees at the FedEx site are Sikhs, whose religion originates in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent.
He said the FedEx center is known for recruiting older members of the local Sikh community who don’t necessarily speak English fluently.
The chief executive of the Sikh Coalition, Satjeet Kaur, said more than 8,000 Sikh Americans live in Indiana.
The recent surge in mass gun violence in the US began on March 16 when a gunman shot and killed eight people, including six Asian women, at three day spas in the Atlanta area before being hit by a gunman. catch.
That rage intensifies tensions that have already flared due to the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans in recent years, partly rooted in racial rhetoric. ethnicity about the origin of the coronavirus epidemic in China.
Since September 11, 2001, when the attacks on the United States have been carried out by the Muslim militant group al Qaeda, Sikh men are sometimes publicly mistaken for Muslims because they wear tu-tua. bin with uncut hair and beard.
Craig McCartt, deputy director of the Indianapolis police station, said eight people killed in the violence on Thursday night were between 19 and 74. The shooting lasted only a few minutes and ended at the time of police counter-attacks. response at the scene, Craig McCartt, Indianapolis’s deputy sheriff, said Friday.
Witnesses described a chaotic attack, where the gunman opened fire with a rifle in the parking lot before entering the facility and resumed firing, leaving the victim both inside and outside the building. Police found the suspect died from gunshot injuries.
McCartt told reporters that the suspect was believed to have last worked at the plant in the fall of 2020.
When asked what brought him back to facility on Thursday night, McCartt replied: “I wish I could answer that.”
Neither the government nor FedEx officials said what ended Hole’s job at FedEx.