Four Sikhs Among Victims of Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooting

[ad_1]

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis’ tight knit Sikh community mourned Saturday as members learned that four Sikhs were among the eight people killed in the mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse.

The Marion County Coroner’s office identified the dead late Friday as Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.

Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt, said Hole apparently began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself.

It was not clear if Sikhs were targeted.

Police Chief Randal Taylor noted that a “significant” number of employees at the FedEx facility are members of the Sikh community. Some members gathered at a local hotel Friday looking for information on family and friends.

“I have several family members who work at the particular facility and are traumatized,” Komal Chohan, who said Amarjeet Johal was his grandmother, said in a statement issued by the Sikh Coalition. “My nani, my family, and our families should not feel unsafe at work, at their place of worship, or anywhere. Enough is enough–our community has been through enough trauma.”

There are between 8,000 and 10,000 Sikh Americans in Indiana, according to the coalition. Members of the religion, which began in India in the 15th century, began settling in Indiana more than 50 years ago and opened it first house of worship, known as a gurdwara, in 1999.

The attack was another blow to the Asian American community a month after six people of Asian descent were killed in a mass shooting in the Atlanta area and amid ongoing attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hole’s motives remained unclear Saturday.

“While we don’t yet know the motive of the shooter, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees, and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence, said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director. “Further traumatizing is the reality that many of these community members, like Sikhs we have worked with in the past, will eventually have to return to the place where their lives were almost taken from them.”

Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said Friday that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology.

A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother’s call. Keenan said the gun was never returned. Indianapolis police said Friday that Hole opened fire with a rifle.

Smith, the youngest of the victims, was last in contact with her family shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, family members said in social media posts late Friday. Dominique Troutman, Smith’s sister, waited hours at the Holiday Inn for an update on her sister. “Words can’t even explain how I feel. … I’m so hurt,” Troutman said in a Facebook post Friday night.

Weisert had been working as a bag handler at FedEx for four years, his wife, Carol, told WISH-TV. The couple was married nearly 50 years.

McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting.

The killings marked the latest in a string of recent mass shootings across the country and the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in the city in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March. In other states last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses in the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

___

Associated Press reporters Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington and Pat Eaton-Robb in Connecticut contributed to this report. Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA
Latest News

Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA

After months of speculation, EA and DICE have finally unveiled Battlefield 2042, with the reveal trailer already live and a gameplay one set to premiere on Sunday, during Microsoft’s E3 conference. There may be additional information released at that point but for now we already know quite a bit about the new maps and the Specialists, 2042’s version of the […]

Read More
UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering
Latest News

UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering

Red list countries and territories What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England. If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to […]

Read More
Latest News

Belarus to face Slovakia in 2021 IIHF World Championship opener

Belarus will open the 2021 IIHF World Championship against Slovakia in Riga on 21 May, BelTA has learned. The Group B match will be played at the Olympic Sport Center. The faceoff is at 20.10. Belarus 5 TV channel will broadcast the match live. Ahead of the IIHF World Championship Belarus played a number of […]

Read More