CASEY SMITH | White House | PressTv
INDIANAPOLIS — Authorities said Friday they had not yet identified a gunman who stormed a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, killing eight people and wounding several others before taking his own life.
Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the gunman started randomly shooting at people in the parking lot and then went into the building, where he shot himself shortly before police entered.
McCartt said the shooting took just a couple of minutes. Five people were hospitalized, according to police. Another two people were treated and released at the scene.
“It did not last very long,” he said. McCartt said police do not yet know the motive for the shooting.
It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the U.S. Last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
It was at least the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis alone. 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.
A witness said that he was working inside the building when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession.
“I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until April 20, and he and others decried the shooting, with some noting how frequent such attacks are.
“We wake up once more to news of a mass shooting, this time in Indiana. No country should accept this now-routine horror. It’s long past time to act,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who is from Indiana, tweeted.
Family members gathered at a nearby hotel to await word on loved ones — and some employees were bused there for tearful reunions. But some people said they still had no information about their relatives hours later. Most employees aren’t allowed to carry cellphones inside the FedEx building, making contact with them difficult.
“When you see notifications on your phone, but you’re not getting a text back from your kid and you’re not getting information and you still don’t know where they are … what are you supposed to do?” said Mindy Carson, holding back tears. Her daughter, Jessica, works in the facility and she had not heard from her.
Chris Bavender, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, said that they are helping the police with the investigation.
Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, and the White House said President Joe Biden would be. Biden’s advisors have been in touch with the city’s mayor and law enforcement officials.
A man told WTTV that his niece was sitting in the driver’s seat of her car when the gunfire erupted, and she was wounded.
“She got shot on her left arm,” said Parminder Singh. “She’s fine, she’s in the hospital now.”
He said his niece did not know the shooter.
Credit: 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.