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FedEx gunman acted alone, showed no signs of racial bias, investigators say

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Posted at 6:06 AM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 21:19:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The gunman responsible for April's mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx Ground facility acted alone, showed no signs of racial bias and the killings "were a function of a primary desire for suicide," investigators said Thursday.

Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice discussed the April 15 shooting in which 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole killed eight people and wounded five others at the FedEx Ground-Plainfield Operation Center.

Hole, a former employee, died by suicide following the shootings.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said investigators spent the past three months attempting to figure out the "why" of the shooting.

"This was an attack on residents ... who were just trying to do their jobs, trying to provide for their families," Taylor said.

Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress said investigators concluded Hole was motivated by a desire to commit murder-suicide, which was exacerbated by personal mental health issues.

"We also joined in the conclusion that he acted alone, and others were unaware of his plans to commit this offense," Childress said.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan added that the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit concluded the shooting was "an act of suicidal murder for which the shooter decided to commit suicide, which he believed would demonstrate his masculinity and capability, while fulfilling his desire to experience killing people."

Keenan said Hole spent nine months planning the attack and chose the FedEx Ground facility because he was familiar with the building and incorrectly thought he identified a vulnerability that would give him access to even more potential victims.

"The shooter did not appear to have been motivated by bias, or a desire to advance ideology," Keenan said.

IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said Hole arrived at the FedEx Ground facility in the 8900 block of Mirabel Road at 10:54 p.m. and went inside. He spoke with a security guard about his employment at FedEx. McCartt said the security guard told Hole that he would need to speak with management.

Hole told the security guard he would go to his car to retrieve his employee ID and that he would return. Hole then left the building and sat in his car for several minutes before he got out of the vehicle with two weapons and shot an employee on the sidewalk.

McCartt said Hole then entered the employee locker room area and began firing on employees gathered there.

"He then turned his attention to try to gain further access into that facility, and he was unable to do that because of the physical security measures that were in place," McCartt said.

Hole then fired more rounds at employees beyond the security area. After about 30 seconds inside, he went into the parking lot and began firing at people and vehicles.

"He was very indiscriminate in his selection of targets. Basically anything that was out in the parking lot — vehicles, people walking — he was firing rounds at them," McCartt said.

An employee in the parking lot used their own gun to shoot one round at Hole and then called 911, McCartt said.

Hole was outside for about three minutes before he went inside and took his own life, McCartt said.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office 911 Call Center answered 97 calls about the shooting, according to IMPD.

A total of 105 IMPD officers responded to the scene. The number doesn't include the personnel from the department's chaplain's office, victim assistance units, Marion County Coroner's Office and the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency.

Four people were found dead outside and another four were killed inside the FedEx facility, McCartt said.

The Marion County Coroner's Office identified the victims as Matthew R. Alexander, 32, Samaria Blackwell, 19, Amarjeet Johal, 66, Jaswinder Kaur, 64, Amarjit Sekhon, 48, Jaswinder Singh, 68, Karli Smith, 19, John Weisert, 74.

There were at least 100 people in the FedEx facility at the time of the shooting, according to IMPD. Many of the people who were at the facility were changing shifts or on their dinner breaks.

Hole was a former employee who worked at the Indianapolis FedEx facility from August-October 2020. He was terminated in October when he failed to return to work, according to IMPD.

According to a 2020 IMPD incident report, a "pump-action shotgun" was seized from Hole, and never returned to him.

About three months after being interviewed by the FBI and placed on temporary hold by IMPD, the 19-year-old legally purchased an HM Defense HM15F, IMPD confirmed.

About two months later, in September 2020, Hole bought his second assault rifle, a Ruger AR-556. Hole used those rifles at the FedEx ground facility, investigators said.

The shooting led to changes in how the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and IMPD handle red flag cases.

WRTV Real-Time Editors Andrew Smith and Shakkira Harris contributed to this report.

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