INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A gunman fatally shot eight people late Thursday night at a FedEx facility near Indianapolis International Airport before he killed himself, police said early Friday.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not reveal if the gunman was a FedEx worker or a possible motive. The identity of the shooter has not been released, but IMPD Chief Randal Taylor has said the suspect is believed to be a man in his 20s.
No police officers were hurt.
A spokesperson with the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirms the FBI will be assisting IMPD with the investigation.
IMPD Officer Genae Cook said multiple people were injured, and many drove themselves to area hospitals for treatment. IMPD did not have any idea how many total people were injured, asking for people to contact the police department if they were injured in the shooting. IMPD said five people with “injuries consistent with gunshot wounds” were transported to hospitals. Two more people were treated at the scene and released.
IMPD was sent to reports of shots fired and an active shooter shortly before 11:10 p.m. Thursday at 8951 Mirabel Road. That’s the address of the FedEx facility in a commercial area with a few hotels and multiple warehouses just south of the I-70 interchange at AmeriPlex Parkway.
Investigators say the shooter came to the facility, got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting. There was no confrontation or argument and he appeared to just start randomly shooting in the parking lot, according to investigators.
Police believe four people were killed outside the facility and four inside. Investigators say the shooter took his own life inside the facility.
Investigators are checking for surveillance video.
Alfie Ballew, Chief Deputy Coroner with the Marion County Coroner’s Office, says it will be hours before the coroner’s office is able to go on to the scene and identify victims.
After the shooting, IndyGo dispatched four buses to help transport workers away from the facility.
IMPD held a press conference in the early morning hours on Friday.
Witnesses recall what they saw
Jeremiah Miller had finished a shift at the FedEx facility and was preparing to work a second consecutive shift when he and a coworker, Timothy Boillat, heard gunfire, up to 10 shots.
“This made me stand up and actually look out the entrance door, and I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open,” Miller said. “I immediately ducked down and got scared and my friend’s mother, she came in and told us to get inside the car.”
Police have not specified what type of gun was used but believe a rifle was involved.
About an hour after the shooting, Miller and Boillat were telling other workers not to come to work for the next shift.
“I didn’t exactly see a person get shot but, after hearing the shooting, I did see a body on the floor behind a vehicle,” Boillat said. “Luckily, I was far enough away where he (the shooter) didn’t notice me or see me. So, thank God for that.”
Family members reunite with FedEx workers
I-70 reopened shortly before 1 a.m. Friday after being closed for more than 90 minutes between I-465 and Ronald Reagan Parkway. However, Indiana State Police said AmeriPlex Parkway was closed south of I-70; also, the ramp from the interstate to AmeriPlex Parkway was closed.
Cook said anyone concerned about family members should go to the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport at 8555 Stansted Road, which is southeast of the FedEx facility.
Hundreds of people were waiting in and around the Holiday Inn for information. A line had formed to a ballroom inside the hotel, where FedEx staffers were meeting with people to help them find workers. Chaplains, gathered by IMPD, also were comforting those waiting for news at the hotel. The American Red Cross was providing snacks and drinks.
President Biden released the following statement on the deadly shooting:
Vice President Harris and I have been briefed by our homeland security team on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a lone gunman murdered eight people and wounded several more in the dark of night.
Today’s briefing is just the latest in a string of tragedies, following closely after gunmen firing bullets in broad day light at spas in and around Atlanta, Georgia, a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and so many other shootings.
While we await critical details about the shooting, its motivation, and other key information, once again, I have the solemn duty of ordering the flag lowered at half-staff at the White House, public buildings and grounds, and military posts and embassies, just two weeks after I gave the last such order.
It’s a mass shooting just a week after we met, in the Rose Garden, with families who lost children and dear friends as bullets pierced their bodies and souls in schools, a night club, in a car at a gas station, and a town meeting at a grocery store. And it came just the night before 14th anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman murdered 32 people.
Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation.
Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.
Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence. I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people – including the vast majority of gun owners – to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines.
Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.
We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.
God bless the eight fellow Americans we lost in Indianapolis and their loved ones, and we pray for the wounded for their recovery.
FedEx sent this statement in the hours following the shooting:
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis. Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”
The CEO of FedEx later released this statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that I write to you regarding the tragedy that occurred at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis last night. While it will take some time to fully understand what happened, we know we lost eight team members in this senseless act of violence.
First and foremost, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and co-workers of those team members. Our priority right now is in responding to the situation on the ground and helping our team members and law enforcement. We have a team onsite in Indianapolis to provide support, and we are making counselors available.
This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel. Please keep the Indianapolis team and surrounding community in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to support and care for each other in the difficult days ahead.”
Cook said FedEx workers should contact their supervisors or human resources about reporting to work Friday. She said the facility will be closed for some time.
The FedEx incident is the fourth mass shooting in Indianapolis this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The others were March 15 in the 2300 block of North Harding Street, Feb. 13 in the 3800 block of North Sherman Drive, and Jan. 24 in the 3540 block of Adams Street.
The FedEx Indianapolis Hub is the second busiest hub for the company and has nearly 4,000 workers, per the corporate website.
Indianapolis, nation respond
The White House has been in contact with the city of Indianapolis. President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, a native of Indianapolis, has been in communication with Mayor Joe Hogsett this morning.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki discussed the shooting at the beginning of her daily press conference.
“Indianapolis is a resilient community, last night was a devastating blow and its impact will be felt by our community for days and weeks to come,” Mayor Hogsett said in a press conference. “But in times of despair I know that our residents will rally together and help one another make it through. The eyes of the nation are on Indianapolis today in ways that we never have hoped for.”
“This morning for the third time since January our community woke up to news of a senseless time that will not leave our memory,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said. “My heart is broken over the lives that were lost.”
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb released this statement:
“This is another heartbreaking day and I’m shaken by the mass shooting at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis. Indiana State Police are working with local responders and we will continue to offer any and all resources needed to assist during this tragedy. In times like this, words like justice and sorrow fall short in response for those senselessly taken. Our thoughts are with the families, friends, coworkers and all those affected by this terrible situation.
“Today, I will order that flags be lower to half-staff from now until sunset on Tuesday, April 20 in remembrance of those we’ve lost.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett released this statement:
“This morning, Indianapolis residents are confronted with the horrific news of yet another mass shooting, an act of violence that senselessly claimed the lives of eight of our neighbors. As law enforcement works to learn more about this tragedy, our prayers are with the families of those whose lives were cut short.
Thank you to all of our city’s first responders for their tireless work overnight. Their quick response provided critical aid to those injured in the shooting and brought a measure of calm to an otherwise chaotic scene.”
Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili released this statement:
Last night we saw our law enforcement and emergency responders give their all to save lives and care for survivors following this brutal attack. Following their example, every member of this Council stands ready to do everything in our power to support survivors and loved ones of those impacted by this senseless tragedy.
In speaking with District 20 Councillor Josh Bain and our colleagues on the Council, I hear in their voices equal measures of heartbreak and resolve.
Our Council is eager to support the individuals and families impacted by this vicious assault and our heroic first responders. We know that our local, State, and federal partners are working hard to provide the necessary information we need in order to further assess the situation and help us to understand how we may work together to end this scourge of violence in our community.
The shooting at FedEx was a senseless tragedy. Indiana and the nation mourn for the lives lost and forever changed last night.
— Senator Todd Young (@SenToddYoung)
Thank you to the members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line and responded heroically to this situation.
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun)
I am heartbroken by the mass shooting at the FedEx facility here in Indianapolis and praying for all affected by this tragedy. I am communicating with local authorities to get all details of the attack and my office stands ready to help everyone affected any way we can.
— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson)
We are deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life that occurred at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis overnight. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers for all affected, and await further details to determine what exactly happened and why.
— Todd Rokita (@AGToddRokita)
As we await information on why a person decided to commit a mass shooting last night at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis, I am praying for the family and friends of those fellow Hoosiers who were affected.
— Larry Bucshon, MD (@RepLarryBucshon)