April 28, 2021
On the night of April 15, 2021, at approximately 11:00PM, 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole stepped out of his vehicle in the parking lot of the FedEx AmeriPlex Building in Indianapolis and open fired, shooting and killing four FedEx employees. He then entered the building and killed four additional workers and injured several others before turning the gun on himself, dying from self-inflicted injuries. Later descriptions of the crime scene stated that Hole began shooting almost immediately and at random after stepping out of his vehicle. There were around 100 employees on shift at the time of the shooting. One of the employees described hiding from Brandon Hole and said the suspect was shouting incoherent things as he entered the building. The shooting only lasted a couple of minutes. Levi Miller, an employee at the FedEx AmeriPlex building, said he did not recognize the gunman, however, others at the warehouse could identify him.
“I stand up, I see a man, a hooded figure,' he said. 'I was unable to see his face in detail. However, the man did have an AR in his hand, and he started shouting and then he started firing at random directions,” said Miller.
The perpetrator used two legally purchased assault rifles in the shooting. He obtained the firearms in July and September of 2020.
Four of the Eight victims, Amarjeet Johal, Jaswinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh and Amarjit Sekhon were members of the Sikh community. After the shooting, Congressman Raja krishnamoorthi made a Tweet, wherein he called for an investigation into possible anti-Sikh motives for the crime. Brandon Hole was employed by FedEx in 2020 and had worked in the warehouse. It is unclear why he left the position, however, some reports state that he was fired. That same year in March, the shooters own mother called police to investigate the troubled teen after he displayed concerning behavior and told her that he planned on committing suicide by cop. Brandon Hole was investigated by the FBI, put on a temporary mental health hold, and had a shotgun removed from his residence which is located just off interstate-465. Investigators said there was no evidence that Hole had committed a crime nor that he planned to commit a crime in the near future at the time of their investigation. They said the teenager did not have any racist beliefs at the time he was investigated, however, an article published in the Indy Star this month revealed that Hole had been viewing white supremist websites on his desktop computer and was nervous when investigators began inspecting his P.C.
“The suspect was placed on an immediate detention mental health temporary hold by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Based on items observed in the suspect's bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020. No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology was identified during the assessment and no criminal violation was found” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan of the Indianapolis FBI.
A recent article published in the New York Post states that Ryan Mears, Marion County prosecutor, has been criticized for neglecting to apply law IC 35-47-14, also known as the Jake Laird Law and the red flag law, against Brandon Scott Hole following their investigation in 2020. Had the gun law been applied to Hole, he would have been unable to legally purchase the firearms he went on to use in the attack on the FedEx building. The red flag law makes it possible for officers to seize a firearm from a citizen and block them from buying additional firearms in the future. The Jake Laird law states that: "Under Indiana Law, a law enforcement officer may seize and keep firearms from mentally unstable or dangerous individuals."
The prosecutors admitted that they did not believe they would be able to prove to the judge that Hole had a penchant for violent behavior and that it would be a wasted effort to convince the judge to sign a Jake Laird order in such a short span of time. Prosecutors had 2 weeks to obtain Hole’s medical records- a process, they said, that could take upwards of a month. They were satisfied with removing the firearm from Hole’s possession.
The red flag gun law came into effect after a 2004 shooting in an Indiana neighborhood, where a 33-year-old gunman named Kenneth Anderson killed his own mother before going on a shooting spree on the block. An officer at the Indianapolis PD, Officer Jake Laird, was killed while responding to the call. After the event, investigation revealed that Kenneth Anderson had been hospitalized for mental health issues the previous year and had a collection of firearms seized from his home. Law at the time dictated that the firearms be returned to the owner. The following year the Jake Laird Law was passed.
After the shooting at the FedEx facility, Hole’s family came forward with a statement apologizing for his actions, saying there was a history of mental illness in the family and that they had tried to get him help in the past, to no avail.
Officers seized computers from Hole’s home and are said to be investigating the motive behind the shooting.
The victims who died in the attack have been named as:
Samaria Blackwell (19), Karlie Smith (19), Matthew R. Alexander (32), Amarjit Skhon (48), Jaswinder Kaur (64), Amarjeet Johal (66), Jaswinder Singh (68) and John Weisert (74).
November 23, 2021