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Sikh community honors victims of the Fed Ex shooting one year later

"It doesn't matter what faith they are from ... we believe each of them are really our brother and sister.”
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Posted at 7:35 AM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 07:35:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 400 people gathered Sunday to remember the eight people who died in the 2021 FedEx Ground facility mass shooting.

The Immigrant Welcome Center and Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis hosted a remembrance prayer. Four of the people who died were members of the Sikh community. That community wanted to make sure that all eight victims were remembered.

"It doesn't matter what faith they are from, it doesn't matter what their status is or their lifestyle is. We believe each of them are really our brother and sister.” said K.P. Singh, one of the founding members of the Sikh Satsang. “We mourn for all of them.”

Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74, were killed at the FedEx facility on April 15, 2021.

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These are the eight victims of the mass shooting at FedEx in Indianapolis.

While there are resources available to victims of violent crimes, the Immigrant Welcome Center said there weren't any tailored to the Sikh community. Now, Sikh families will have resources to cope with the trauma.

“After the shooting last year, we were approached by various non-profits to create a virtual center," said Gurinder Hohl, the CEO of the Immigrant Welcome Center.

MORE: FedEx Shooting Full Coverage

The Virtual Resiliency Center is a new program that Sikhs have access to. The Immigrant Welcome Center, in partnership with Eskenazi Health, obtained federal funding to create it.

"The individuals and families that were impacted by the shooting at the FedEx were from the Sikh community and they were also from those community members that were born and brought up here,” said Hohl. “So that means that needs of these community members are different. We need to be able to address the needs of the Sikh community members in a culturally responsive manner."

This program allowed for the hiring of two Punjabi-speaking community navigators who will work to provide people in the Sikh community with resources they may need.

"Whatever their needs are or if they just need social support, we are able to do that in a manner that is meaningful," said Hohl.

While this tragedy is something still felt by the Sikh community and Indianapolis, some Sikhs feel there has been some triumph to come out of this tragedy.

"If anything, it's made Indiana and the people of Indiana take note of who the Sikhs are. Unfortunately, it came because of these unfortunate and tragic events,” said Komal Sahi, an immigration attorney who has worked with several of the families. ”We are here and we are a big part of Indiana."

On Monday, five families of the people who were killed, along with their attorneys, will hold a press conference to discuss their intentions of filing a federal lawsuit against multiple parties. WRTV will carry that press conference live on all social media platforms.