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Sikh community still grieving and working towards healing after deadly shooting

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Posted at 10:56 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 11:02:21-04

INDIANAPOLIS — One week later, there's pain, there's grief but there's also hope for healing. Gaganpel Singh wants Hoosiers to help his community heal. He says there's a language barrier that adds an extra layer of complexity, but kindness transcends.

“Spend two minutes on Google. Search for the word Sikh, search for the word Sikhism on Wikipedia. If you see a Sikh person with a turban, like me, in the grocery store in your neighborhood or you have a neighbor, or anywhere on the street, go talk to them and tell them, 'hey are you doing, okay? I heard about the Indianapolis shooting,'" said Gaganpel Singh, a Sikh community activist.

For him, the loss hits home, especially since he works at the facility seasonally and his family is employed at FedEx too.

“My mother works there and then my two aunts work there as well. My mom was off and all three of them work the same shift that was attacked,” said Singh.

He says right now he can't imagine what it will be like returning to work.

“I don't see how they will be able to completely erase the images of what happened. And once they pass through that place where they saw that happening, the images are going to flash again and it's going to be very difficult for them to come to terms with. Colleagues who used to work shoulder to shoulder with them aren’t there anymore."

The collective trauma from last Thursday left a stain, but the resiliency of the community remains, Singh says. There were heroes amongst the victims injured. He says one manager was wounded but still went to find help.

“She was shot in her shoulder. The gunman came towards her, she was brave, she backed up and sped off. She went all the way to the nearest gas station with a bullet in her arm,” said Singh.

“He was shot in the head, he grabbed a couple of people and pulled them behind the wall, and he was still alive, he is still alive,” said Singh.

As WRTV learns more about the lives lost, Singh says it’s also important to remember those who risked it all to save themselves and others.

The Sikh community says they aren't just thinking of those from their community who were impacted, they want to support everyone impacted.

There's also a big push to understand the motive of the shooter.

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