Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

Midwest

INDIANAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said on Saturday that two assault rifles used in Thursday’s mass shooting were purchased legally by the shooter in 2020.

According to police, during the shooting at FedEx Ground-Plainfield Operation Center, suspect Brandon Hole was witnessed using two assault rifles in the shooting that left eight people dead and several others injured.

Both rifles were found on Hole after he was discovered deceased in the business from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a trace on these two firearms and learned both were purchased legally by Hole in July and September of 2020.

The police did not say where Hole bought what they described as “assault rifles,” citing the ongoing investigation, but said he was seen using both rifles during the shooting.

Details about the weapons’ make, model and caliber won’t be released until the investigation is complete, said Genae Cook, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The FBI said agents had questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say her son might commit “suicide by cop.” Officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the call, according to a police report. Police said the gun was never returned to him.

Republican Sen. Todd Young called Sunday for more mental health services across all level of governments.

“We know that we have a Hoosier family who cried out for help, knowing they had a child who required mental health treatment. We know we have members of our law enforcement community who, for a period of time, responded to that call for help. And we know that in the end, that wasn’t enough,” he told The Associated Press before addressing a gathering at the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang, a Sikh house of worship on the east side of Indianapolis.

Mark Bode, a spokesperson for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, said Sunday his office also “continues to monitor closely the findings of the ongoing investigation, and what breakdowns in the red flag law processes may have come into play.”

Indiana has had a “red flag law” allowing police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence since 2005. It became one of the first states to enact such a law after an Indianapolis police officer was killed by a man whose weapons had to be returned despite hospitalization months earlier for an emergency mental health evaluation.

The law is intended to prevent people from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are found by a judge to present “an imminent risk” to themselves or others.

Authorities have two weeks after seizing someone’s weapon to argue in court that the person should not be allowed to possess a gun. Officials have not said whether a Hole’s case was brought before a judge. Michael Leffler, a spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor, said Sunday that the office is “looking into this matter.”

If Hole had a court hearing and prevailed, state law indicates the shotgun would have been returned to him. If a judge ruled him dangerous or incompetent, however, he should have been barred from buying another gun.

Gaganpal S. Dhaliwal, a member of the Sikh community who also spoke at the gathering Sunday, added that victims’ families want to see “common sense gun laws” and stricter hate crime policies.

“This shooter had a shotgun confiscated, but he was still able to get his hands on rifles,” Dhaliwal said. “ We need to make sure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Dhaliwal also called for roughly two dozen fast-tracked visas from the U.S. and Indian governments to allow relatives to travel for funeral ceremonies that will take place in the next two weeks, he said.

Hole was a former employee at the FedEx facility who left his job last year, police said. Authorities have not yet announced a possible motive for the attack.

Hole’s family said in a statement they are “so sorry for the pain and hurt” his actions caused.

On Saturday, several vigils took place across Indianapolis in memory of the victims who lost their lives in the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident should call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 or (TIPS). 

The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WXIN contributed to this report.

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