Police guard the entrance to a FedEx facilty on Friday where a gunman had opened fire in Indianapolis. Photo by Mark Lyons/EPA-EFE
April 16 (UPI) -- Indianapolis police said in an update Friday that they're trying to determine a motive for a shooting that killed eight people at a FedEx warehouse.
The assailant shot several people at the warehouse Thursday night and killed himself inside the building before police entered, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Deputy Chief Craig McCartt told reporters in a news conference Friday morning. He was armed with a rifle, he said.
The chief identified the shooter as Brandon Scott Hole, a 19-year-old who previously worked at the facility.
During the update, police did not identify the victims. McCartt said no family members had been notified by the time of the news conference.
Officials said four people died outside the FedEx Ground Plainfield Operations Center and all eight were pronounced dead at the scene. Five of the injured are in the hospital and another has an injury unrelated to the gunfire.
McCartt said Hole randomly targeted people as soon as he got out of his vehicle in the parking lot, and there was no confrontation with anyone before the gunfire started.
"I think that [the attack] probably only lasted one to two minutes, from what we're hearing," he said.
McCartt added that it would be several hours before investigators finished work at the crime scene, which is located near the Indianapolis airport. Police also are searching the shooter's home.
The Indianapolis Star said Hole had previous run-ins with police, including an incident in 2020 when he was detained during a mental health check. IMPD said they seized a shotgun and the Behavioral Health Unit "initiated immediate detention on male reported to have voiced suicidal ideation."
Paul Keenan, an FBI agent assisting in the investigation, told reporters that it would be premature to speculate on possible motives.
"Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones," President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday. "What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation."
"Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation," he added. "We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives."
FedEx said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by shooting.
"Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence," the company said in a statement emailed to UPI. "The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities."
U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., said he's "heartbroken" and praying for the victims.
"I am communicating with local authorities to get all details of the attack, and my office stands ready to help everyone affected any way we can," he tweeted.
"This morning, Indianapolis residents are confronted with the horrific news of yet another mass shooting, an act of violence that senselessly claimed the lives of eight of our neighbors," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement Friday. "As law enforcement works to learn more about this tragedy, our prayers are with the families of those whose lives were cut short.
"Thank you to all of our city's first responders for their tireless work overnight. Their quick response provided critical aid to those injured in the shooting and brought a measure of calm to an otherwise chaotic scene."
Thursday night's attack is the latest in a string of high-profile mass shootings in the United States in recent weeks. Eighteen people were killed in attacks in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo., last month and four were killed, including a 9-year-old child, in a shooting at a business complex in Southern California.
Earlier Thursday, police shot and killed a suspected gunman who injured at least two people when he opened fire at the San Antonio International Airport in Texas.
The rise in gun violence has prompted many Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden to pursue tighter gun control measures, including a revival of an assault weapons ban enacted by former President Bill Clinton, which was in effect between 1994 and 2004. Efforts to revive the ban by former President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers weren't successful.
"Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence," Biden said Friday. "I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people -- including the vast majority of gun owners -- to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines."