Fedex Indianapolis Mass Shooting: Gunman kills 8 then self at Ground Plainfield Operations Center warehouse near airport. No known motive. Gunman cited as well known worker by witnesses.
Officers say they arrived at the FedEx Ground Plainfield Operations Center to find ‘active shooter incident’ along with ‘multiple victims’ with apparent gunshot wounds, just after 11pm, Thursday night.
Police say the gunman, who is yet to be identified, immediately opened fire with a rifle after getting out of his car in the parking lot and kept shooting as he made his way into the facility. The rampage lasted for only one to two minutes before the gunman shot himself dead as officers arrived, according to police.
‘This is very heartbreaking,’ Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Genae Cook told reports at around 3 a.m. on Friday, hours after the shooting. She said police officers came in contact with an active shooter after they were called shortly after 11pm on Thursday.
The male gunman is understood to have taken his own life, and is the ninth confirmed death from the incident. One of the five taken to hospital was in critical condition. Police reported finding the alleged shooter’s body at 11:23 p.m. local time. IMPD did not reveal if the gunman was a FedEx worker and a possible motive.
Man observed getting an ‘assault rifle’ from the trunk of his car
Deputy chief of criminal investigations, Craig McCartt, told CNN on Friday morning the shooting rampage was ‘very short’ and the gunman didn’t make it far into the facility before killing himself. McCartt said he didn’t believe the gunman made it through a security area where employees are required to show ID and go through metal detectors.
‘The suspect came into the parking lot and I believe he exited his vehicle and quickly began shooting. It wasn’t precipitated by any kind of disturbance or an argument with anyone there,’ he said.
‘He did not get very far into the facility at all. I think that it probably only lasted one to two minutes.’
Two eyewitnesses report seeing a man getting an ‘assault rifle’ from the trunk of his car. One worker told local media they saw a body on the floor, while another said they heard 10 shots before alerting law enforcement.
It is understood that FedEx employees are not allowed to use their cell phones on the floor of the warehouse and would have been unable to easily dial 911 during the attack.
Workers hid under conveyor belts during the incident according to WRTV.
Timothy Boillat, another employee at the facility, told WISH-TV that he saw around 30 police cars arriving at the scene as he witnessed the shooting unfold.
‘well-known worker at this facility’
‘After hearing the shootings, I did see a body on the floor,’ he said. ‘Luckily, I was far enough away to where he [the shooter] didn’t see me.’
Told worker Jeremiah Mille via WISH: ‘I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open.’
Employee Levi Miller told NBC’s Today that he heard more than a dozen shots before he saw a hooded gunman screaming and firing.
‘I stand up, I see a man, a hooded figure,’ he said. ‘I was unable to see his face in detail. However, the man did have an AR in his hand, and he started shouting and then he started firing at random directions.’
Miller said he didn’t recognize the gunman but his colleagues had said he was a ‘well-known worker at this facility’. He said it was possible the gunman was trying to target the manager.
Police have not confirmed if the gunman was an employee or the motive.
126 mass shooting incidents for 2021 alone
The FedEx facility in the 8900 block of Mirabel Road in Indianapolis employs more than 4,500 people; it is the company’s second largest hub in the world.
At around 2:45 a.m. on Friday, around 110 people were anxiously waiting in a nearby hotel for news on their loved ones working at the facility, before the initial death count was confirmed by the police. Those gathered had not heard from their loved ones working inside.
Images from the scene show a heavy police presence. Initial reports suggest that the shooting took place both inside the facility and outside in a parking lot. It remained unclear if the gunshots were targeted at specific workers or random.
FedEx released a statement, calling the shooting ‘tragic‘, adding: ‘We are aware of the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport. Safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected. We are working to gather more information and are cooperating with investigating authorities.’
At the end of last month, four people, including a child, were shot dead in an office building in Orange County, California.
On March 22, 10 people were killed in a shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
That came less than a week after a man shot and killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at spas in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nearly 40,000 people in the United States die each year from guns, more than half of those being suicides.
The issue of gun regulation in the United States is politically fraught.
President Joe Biden this month announced six executive measures he said would help stem the gun violence crisis.
‘It’s an international embarrassment,’ Biden told Congress members and gun control activists at a White House ceremony.
‘Enough prayers,’ the Democrat said. ‘Time for some action.’
The move was attacked by Republicans, with the party’s senior leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, warning of ‘unconstitutional overreach.’