THE suspected teen shooter who killed eight in a rampage at a FedEx warehouse had been fired from his job there, was known to cops, and had previously been arrested twice, officials say.
Brandon Scott Hole, 19, was identified by police as the gunman who stormed the FedEx operations center in Indianapolis on Thursday night, killing eight and injuring seven before turning the gun on himself.
Read our Fedex shooting live blog below for the very latest news and updates…
At a news conference this afternoon, Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt revealed that Hole was a former employee of the FedEx facility and last worked for the company in 2020.
McCartt said he did not know why Hole left the job, but family members told FOX59 he was fired.
No motive has yet been determined on the shooting.
However, the alleged gunman’s family had previously warned authorities about his potential for violence, CNN reported.
He had two prior arrests, one in 2013 and one in 2020.
In the latest of the arrests, on March 3 last year, Hole was detained after police “seized a shotgun from a dangerous person.”
“Behavioral health unit initiated immediate detention on male reported to have voiced suicidal ideation,” according to the police report.
Hole had purchased the shotgun just 24 hours before he was arrested.
In a statement, FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said Hole’s family told police the teen might try to “commit suicide by cop”.
In his March arrest, Keenan said Hole was “placed on immediate detention mental health temporary hold by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.”
“A shotgun was seized at his residence,” Kennan added. “Based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020.”
Following that interview, Keenan said: “No Rationally Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE) ideology was identified during the courts of the assessment and no criminal violation was found.”
The shotgun was then “returned to the suspect”, Keenan said.
Thursday night’s deadly rampage began when Hole got out of his car in the FexEx parking lot, pulled a rifle out of his trunk and immediately opened fire.
He kept shooting for a period of up to two minutes, gunning down four before making his way inside the facility.
“My friend at the time witnessed a man who was not part of the incident but also pulled out a gun from his truck to try and engage the shooter and he died because of it,” Miller said.
Victims were heard screaming for their lives as the lone gunman wreaked havoc with a hail of bullets.
Hole fatally shot four more people inside facility. He turned the gun himself shortly before police entered the building, McCartt said.
- At least eight people were killed in Thursday night’s shooting
- Seven were injured; five hospitalized
- One rifle has been confirmed to be found at the scene, with police looking into reports of a second
- The shooting lasted between one to two minutes
- It took place between a shift change from the twilight to midnight shift, witnesses claimed
- The gunman killed himself after the massacre
- Flags in Indiana will be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Tuesday
- The FBI is searching the home of the suspect, who was named as Brandon Scott Hole, 19, a former FedEx worker
“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” McCart said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
Cops were met with a scene of horror as they searched the warehouse for survivors with bloody bodies strewn across the floor.
Seven people were injured in the massacre. Five were taken to hospital with at least one person fighting for their life in a critical condition.
McCartt said the slayings took place in a matter of minutes.
Officials with the coroner’s office began the process of identifying victims Friday afternoon, a process they said would take several hours. None have yet been named.
Officers were called to the “active shooter incident” at 11pm last night after reports of shots being fired at the FedEx site on Mirabel Road in Indianapolis.
Hole was found dead after shooting himself in the head about 10 to 15 minutes after cops were first called to the bloodbath.
Cops later confirmed the suspect had a .223 rifle, according to the audio.
At least one rifle was confirmed, with police looking into reports of a second weapon.
However, according to the initial dispatcher call, police believed there were two rifles.
“We have the suspect here inside it looks like. Looks like he has a gunshot wound to the head. Two rifles here,” an officer said in the audio.
One witness said that he was unable to see the shooter’s face in detail, but claimed he was holding an AR and started shouting before six shots were fired “rapidly.”
Police Chief Randal Taylor noted that a “significant” number of employees at the FedEx facility are members of the Sikh community, and the Sikh Coalition later issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened to learn” that Sikh community members were among the wounded and killed.
The coalition, which identifies itself as the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in the statement that it expected authorities to “conduct a full investigation — including the possibility of bias as a factor.”
FedEx Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Smith called the shooting a “senseless act of violence.”
“This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel,” he wrote in an email to employees.
During a press conference on Friday, Special Agent Keenan confirmed that officers were searching Hole’s home.
Photographs from the residence showed the FBI leaving the suspected gunman’s house holding two computers.
Another image showed them holding cardboard boxes, however it is not clear if anything is inside of them.
President Biden released a statement after he was briefed on the shootings saying “we can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.”
Biden added: “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.”
The president concluded: “God bless the eight fellow Americans we lost in Indianapolis and their loved ones, and we pray for the wounded for their recovery.”
Governor Eric Holcomb confirmed that the flags will be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Tuesday.
Police Spokesperson Cook, meanwhile, said: “Today it is very heartbreaking and, you know, in the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, the officers responded, they came in, they went in and they did their job.
“And a lot of them are trying to face this because this is a sight that no one should ever have to see.”
No officers were injured in the shooting, Cook confirmed.
FedEx released a statement following the mass shooting this morning: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis.
“Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence.
“The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”
US Congressman Andre Carson, a representative for Indiana, said: “I am heartbroken by the mass shooting at the FedEx facility here in Indianapolis and praying for all affected by this tragedy.
“I am communicating with local authorities to get all details of the attack and my office stands ready to help everyone affected in any way we can.”
Terrified victims revealed how the crazed gunman sent bullets flying into parked cars while FedEx workers said they were forced to dive beneath conveyor belts to hide.
Employee Jeremiah Miller was within feet of the attacker inside the building.
He told WISH: “I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open.
“I immediately ducked down and got scared and my friend’s mother, she came in and told us to get inside the car.”
Another man said: “We heard two loud metal clangs at first.
“They didn’t sound like gunshots at first. Then we heard three more shots.
“And then my buddy Levi saw somebody running out of the building and then more shots went off,” he added.
“Somebody went behind their car to the trunk and got another gun, and then I saw another body on the floor.”
Ian Johnson, whose wife works at the building, told WTTV that she messaged him to say that there was an active shooter at the facility.
“She texted me to tell me there’s an active shooter and we communicated back and forth for a while. She’s since notified me she’s OK,” he said.
“After I communicated with her for a while, then it went silent for a while, so I came here just to see what was going on and she texted me I’m OK.”
The Deputy Chief confirmed that the suspect “came into the parking lot, exited his vehicle and quickly began shooting.”
It was also confirmed that “it wasn’t precipitated by an argument or disturbance.”
One victim’s uncle, Parminder Singh, told WTTV his niece had been sitting in her car when she was shot in the upper left arm and she was recovering in hospital.
The FedEx facility employs more than 4,500 people – it is the company’s second largest hub in the world.
Families of employees who may have been affected were told to go to a nearby Holiday Inn Express where police would be on hand to offer assistance last night.
At 2.45am on Friday, about 110 people were anxiously waiting for news at the hotel, the New York Times reports.
Christina Valor said her sister, Natalie, worked at the facility and had not been in touch.
“We’re hoping for the best,” she told the newspaper. “But we don’t know anything.”
According to WISH, FedEx employees were meeting with family members to help them find workers and the American Red Cross was providing snacks and drinks.
A FedEx spokesperson said: “We are aware of the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport.
“Safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected.”
This is the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis.
Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed 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.
And the shooting was the latest in a string of mass shootings across the United States in recent months.
Eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across metro Atlanta, and ten died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado last month.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.”