Police: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis

CASEY SMITH
Associated Press/Report for America
People hug after learning that their loved one is safe after a shooting inside a FedEx building Friday, April 16, 2021. Multiple people were shot and killed in a late-night shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, and the shooter killed himself, police said.(The Indianapolis Star via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS — A gunman killed eight people and wounded several others before killing himself in a late-night shooting at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, police said, in the latest in a spate of mass shootings after a relative lull during the pandemic.

Five people were hospitalized after the Thursday night shooting, according to police. One of them had critical injuries, police spokesperson Genae Cook said. Another two people were treated and released at the scene. FedEx said people who worked for the company were among the dead.

A witness told WTHR-TV that he was working inside the building when he heard gunshots.

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“I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yellin’ stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller said. “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.”

The shooter wasn't immediately identified, and investigators were in the process of conducting interviews and gathering information. Cook said it was too early to tell whether the shooter was an employee at the facility.

Family members await information about their loved ones who work at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis where a mass casualty shooting occurred late Thursday, early Friday, April 16, 2021.(The Indianapolis Star via AP)

“We’re still trying to ascertain the exact reason and cause for this incident,” she said.

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.

Family members gathered at a nearby hotel to await word on loved ones — and some employees were bused there for tearful reunions. But other relatives said they still had no information about their loved ones 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.

Police were called to reports of gunfire Thursday just after 11 p.m., and officers “came in contact with (an) active shooter incident,” Cook said. The gunman later killed himself.

People stand outside a FedEx facility near Indianapolis International Airport after a shooting with multiple victims was reported late Thursday night, April 15, 2021. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

“The officers responded, they came in and did their job. A lot of them are trying to face this, because this is a sight that no one should have to see,” Cook said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett lamented that the city was “confronted with the horrific news of yet another mass shooting, an act of violence that senselessly claimed the lives of eight of our neighbors.”

FedEx released a statement saying saying it is cooperating with authorities.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis," the statement said. "Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence.”

Jeremiah Miller, a witness who said he works at the facility, told WISH-TV that he saw a man with some kind of rifle after hearing several gunshots.

Another 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.

— 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.