INDIANAPOLIS — Three tort claims have been filed against the city of Indianapolis and Marion County potentially seeking a total of $2.1 million related to the mass homicide at a FedEx facility.
The claims, delivered to the city on Oct. 12, were filed by Winston & Strawn in Washington, DC, and the Sikh Coalition. News of the claims was first reported Tuesday by Indy Star.
They are representing Lakhwinder Kaur, who was shot and injured, Gurinder Bains on behalf of the estate of Jaswinder Singh, who was shot and killed, and Harpreet Singh, who was shot and injured. Each is potentially seeking $700,000 in damages.
According to the city's website, tort claims against the city-county are part of a legal process and must be made in writing within 180 days after the loss.
The claims allege Kaur, Bains and Singh "suffered significant losses" because the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County Prosecutor's Office didn't "follow statutorily mandated protocols."
"All three of our clients suffered losses as a result of the underlying failures of the Marion County Prosecutor's Office that could have prevented the mass shooting incident," the claims read.
The claims allege IMPD failed to submit an affidavit after the gun was taken from Hole in March 2020 and the prosecutor's office didn't petition for a "red flag" hearing, which denied a court an opportunity to determine if Hole should be temporarily denied access to purchase or possess a firearm.
Harpreet Singh, who was shot, still has a bullet lodged in the side of his skull between his left eye and ear, according to the claims. His injuries resulted in hospitalization, surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, inability to work at full capacity and continued physical and psychological injuries.
"As the primary breadwinner in his young family, Mr. Singh has not been able to provide and car for his family in six months," the claims read.
Lakhwinder Kaur was standing next to Jaswinder Singh when she was shot and suffered a graze wound, according to the claims. Because she hasn't been able to return to the FedEx facility where the shooting happened since April, she is "very limited means to support herself."
On March 3, 2020, IMPD officers seized a shotgun from the suspect, Brandon Hole, after he made comments about dying by suicide by cop. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital after he told officers he was feeling sad and depressed and would benefit from counseling.
"I can’t get into too many specifics on that but I will tell you that the length of that stay was measured by hours – and not days or weeks, and no follow-up medication was prescribed to that individual," Mears said in April.
On March 10, 2020, Hole told investigators he didn't want the shotgun back, according to a previous press release from IMPD. The case was presented to the prosecutor's office for review on March 11, 2020.
On April 19, 2021, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said his office decided not to use Indiana's Red Flag Law because of legislative limitations and circumstances surrounding the original seizure.
"We are statutorily required to provide adequate notice to the City of Indianapolis and Marion County within a certain time period to protect our clients' rights if they decide to move forward with a lawsuit related to last April's tragedy," Sikh Coalition Legal Director Amrith Kaur Aakre said. "Accordingly, we submitted this notice of claims last month to meet that obligation. We remain in close conversation with our clients about their injuries and ongoing needs as we continue to chart the course forward and work on these matters."
A spokesperson for the mayor's office said it doesn't comment on tort claims against the city "out of respect for the judicial process."
"We do not have a comment at this time," Michael Leffler, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, said in an emailed statement. "The letter delivered to the Office of Corporation Counsel serves as a notice of tort claim, not the formal suit. As with any pending tort claim or civil lawsuits (if/when they are filed), we would not be in a position to comment until the matter is resolved."
WRTV emailed IMPD for a comment and is awaiting a response.