A 19-year-old named Brandon Hole has been identified as the suspected shooter who left eight people dead and five injured at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, police said Friday.
The suspected shooter allegedly drove to facility at around 11 p.m. on Thursday night, got out of his car armed with a rifle, and started shooting. He allegedly killed four people outside the facility, and another four inside, before turning the gun on himself.
“There was no confrontation with anyone there, no disturbance, no argument,” said Indianapolis Police Deputy Chief of Criminal investigations Craig McCartt at a press conference on Friday. “He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
McCartt said that FedEx confirmed that the suspect was a former employee at the facility he targeted, and was last employed there in the Fall of 2020.
The victims have not been identified yet and authorities are still working to notify some of their next of kin.
The attack lasted just one or two minutes, according to McCartt. "It was very short," he said.
The suspect was known to federal and local authorities prior to the shooting, according to CNN, which reported that one of the suspect’s family members had even contacted authorities because they were concerned about his potential for violence.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan told WTHR that the suspect’s mother contacted law enforcement back in March 2020 because she was concerned her son was going to commit “suicide by cop.” Officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department put the suspect on an “immediate detention temporary mental health hold,” transported him to a hospital, and seized a shotgun that he’d bought 24-hours prior.
When police searched his room, they discovered items that were concerning enough to contact the FBI, though it’s unclear what those items were. When the FBI interviewed the suspect a month later, they concluded that he did not adhere to any form of Racially Motivated Violent Extremism (which is an FBI category within the broader umbrella of domestic terrorism). However, Keenan said the shotgun was not returned to the suspect.
Police arrived on the scene very shortly after the first shots were fired, and while the suspect was still on the scene. When police entered the FedEx facility and encountered the suspect, he immediately took his own life.
“When officers arrived, they found a very chaotic and active crime team, or they found several victims, injured,” McCartt said at a press conference on Friday morning.
Besides the eight people who were killed, five others were injured and taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement Friday morning. One person is in critical condition. Two other people were treated at the scene and released.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said that federal agents were assisting in the investigation, including searching a suspect's residence and interviewing witnesses at the scene. But he declined to offer any information about the possible motive of the shooter, noting that the investigation is still in its early stages.
“It would be premature to speculate,” Keenan said. He added that there was no further threat to the Indianapolis community.
Federal agents and other investigators removed evidence from the suspect’s residence in east Indianapolis, including computer equipment, according to local news outlets.
Family members of FedEx employees gathered at a Holiday Inn Express hotel in the early hours of Friday to see if their loved ones survived the shooting.
“I’m just worried about my father," Ashlee Floyd told the Indianapolis Star. "I don’t know if he’s OK. I don’t know if he’s injured. I don’t know if he’s gone. I’m just scared right now.”
In a letter to team members on Friday, the Chairman and CEO of FedEx, Frederick W. Smith, said that the company had a team onsite, and that it was making counselors available.
"This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel,” he wrote.
The violence in Indiana on Thursday night was one of several high-profile mass shootings to take place over the past few weeks.
In March, eight people were murdered outside Atlanta when a suspect opened fire at different spas. Six of the people were Asian. Less than a week later, a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killing 10 people. Suspects were taken into custody after both shootings.