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One Year Later: Remembering the victims of the Indianapolis FedEx tragedy

Indy Remembers: Matthew Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Sekhon, Karli Smith, John Weisert
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Posted at 8:34 AM, Apr 15, 2022

One year later we’re remembering the victims killed in the tragedy at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on April 15, 2021.

The families of five of those victims spoke to WRTV about how they are honoring their loved ones by making sure their memory lives on.

These are their stories.

Karli Smith, 19

Funny, kind-heart, family oriented – those are three ways to describe Karli Smith. The IPS graduate also had a love for softball.

The 19-year-old was set to collect her first paycheck that night. She was saving up for a car.

Her family tells WRTV they are working through the healing process. Karli lives on in many ways. Every month on the 15th, family and friends gather to celebrate Karli’s legacy. Sometimes they go to Taco Bell, Karli’s favorite spot, or to FedEx where there is a memorial.

"I think as time goes by more and more and more, I think we'll start to heal more. But it's still bizarre and unbelievable to me to this day." - Jazmyne Moszee

Kari’s aunt, Mindy Dyson, added: "People kind of get numb to these kinds of stories when you see him all the time on the news, and you don't ever really think it's gonna be somebody that's close to you. And just, you know, love people while they're here.”

Her mom, Karen, is coaching a little league team in her place. Soon the family will start a memorial scholarship in her name.

Click here to learn more about Karli.

Samaria Blackwell, 19

Samaria Blackwell’s family said the young woman simply loved life, and she wanted to share that passion through helping others.

The 19-year-old never had the chance to fulfill her dreams of becoming a police officer, but that didn't matter to the law enforcement community, who stepped up in a big way, to show their support.

One of those ways was through 'Patches for Stitches.' ‘Stitches’ was her nickname. Avon Police started the idea and within a few weeks, more than 500 agencies from across the country and even the world, sent uniform patches and often letters, to the family.

"Samaria was not an officer. We will say that again and again and again. Samaria was not an officer, her desire was to be a police officer. But that community, and we've guarded ourselves, they were so lovely, so outpouring, but we had to, had to guard it because she did not wear the uniform. She did not serve, but they embraced us, they took us in as their own. And they've treated us as family -- the entire time,” Samaria’s dad, Jeff Blackwell, said.

The Blackwell family is setting up a foundation called "Samaria's Legacy."

One part of the foundation will be to fund scholarships for activities like swim lessons and art at Garfield Park in Samaria's honor. She taught swim lessons and was a lifeguard at the park.

Click here to learn more about Samaria.

Matthew R. Alexander, 32

“Live a Good Story’

It’s a phrase the family of 32-year-old Matthew Alexander coined as they work through their grief, while also focusing on keeping his legacy alive.

“Because that is what Matt did for 32 years, he lived a good story.” — Brad Alexander, Matt’s dad

Brad describes his son as a warm person who would do anything for you. The Butler University graduate was a bachelor, he loved to travel and bought his first home in Avon, his hometown, just a few years ago.

“There is a big void in our family now we miss him,” Debbie Alexander, Matt’s mom said.

Matt would’ve turned 33 on March 11th. This year, his family celebrated at a place Matt would’ve loved to visit.

“We went to Topgolf because that's what he wanted to do last year and he was too stubborn to call and make reservations, so the wait was too long, so we went bowling,” Debbie said.

The Alexanders will continue to honor Matt and remember him and his love for sports through the Matthew Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund

This spring they will give away the first scholarship - $1,600 - in honor of the #16 that Matt wore on the baseball field at Avon High School.

Click here to learn more about Matthew.

Amarjit Sekhon, 48

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Amarjit Kaur Sekhon was known as a hard worker in her family.

“She would never sit still ... the other day she had the (COVID-19) shot and she was really sick, but she still went to work," Amarjit's brother-in-law Kuldip Sekhon told ABC News.

"The breadwinner in the family. Amazing person. Perfect, in everything," her niece described to ABC News.

She had just recently moved to Indianapolis from Ohio to be closer to family.

Amarjit had started working at FedEx in November.

Click here to learn more about Amarjit.

Jasvinder Kaur, 50

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Jasvinder Kaur commuted to FedEx often with Amarjit Kaur Sekhon (above).

Jasvinder was known as a charming woman, the family tells ABC.

She and Amarjit were both found in their car the night of the shooting.

Click here to learn more about Jasvinder.

Amarjeet Johal, 66

Amarjeet's family describes her as a beloved mother, grandmother, and sister.

The hurt from the FedEx mass shooting still radiates through the Sikh community, including Amarjeet Johal's family.

One year after this tragedy, they're reflecting on the memory she leaves behind and the changes they want to see made moving forward.

“They're not going to know the hole that we have… and it can't ever be filled,” said her son Narinder Johal.

Narinder lost a piece of his heart on April 15, when the FedEx mass shooter took his mother's life. He said, "(she was the ) Greatest person ever… yeah."

Komal Chohan said she now has a void too because Amarjeet was more than just her relative.

"She represents like every mom, every grandma, that is so actively involved in the lives of their children and their grandchildren,” said Komal.

Pictures and home videos shared by family members show Amarjeet's prioritized her friends, community and most importantly, her family.

Chohan cooked and made everyone feel welcomed. Amarjeet woke up early just to see her grand baby's off to school. Then on that Thursday in April, she worked her usual shift.

It was her 66th birthday, on April 13. Her granddaughter's birthday was that Friday, April 16.

One year later, and the loss still brings tears to her family's eyes.

"She put up a big fight for our life to raise us… and it was our turn. And we just didn't have enough time," Narinder said.

One year later, it's about making sure others don't lose a piece of their heart too, in a senseless mass shooting.

Narinder said, "I don't care about what people say, I just want people to learn… hey… don't hurt other people's family."

Click here to hear more of Amarjeet's story and how her family is remembering her.

Jaswinder Singh, 68

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“He always smiling."

Jaswinder Singh was known as a loving man who really didn't need to work, but loved to be around people and his "buddies."

"I didn’t hear him say even one bad word from his mouth in (his) whole life. He love everyone. Always smiling when he see you, he had a big smile,” Harjap Singh Dillon, Jaswinder's sister’s father-in-law, told WRTV.

Click here to learn more about Jaswinder.

John Weisert, 74

John Weisert, who went by his middle name, Steve-- was the oldest person killed that night. We first heard from his family in the hours after the shooting-- before they learned of his passing.

Steve is remembered as a veteran, family man and a total whiz at trivial pursuit. This past November, he and his wife, Carol, would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Carol said they met in college when she asked him where she could find a newspaper.

Steve's son, Mike, remembers most his dad's goofy sense of humor. The Zionsville resident was just about a month away from retiring when he was killed at work.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say it was very difficult. I mean, first of all, you lose your great companion. I don't know if I can do this with a straight face. And then he did so much,” Carol Weisert said.

Mike Weisert added: "With a scenario like this you just kind of woken up and bam – you’re kind of just smacked in the face out of nowhere. Nothing prepared for it."

The 74-year-old was also an active volunteer in his community. In his honor, his family has continued service projects.

Click here to learn more about John.

FEDEX ONE YEAR COVERAGE | First recipient named in Samaria Blackwell Memorial Scholarship | Mother of FedEx shooter supports lawsuit against FedEx, Securitas | Five families of FedEx victims file lawsuit | Sikh community honors victims of the FedEx shooting