INDIANAPOLIS— The Sikh Coalition is calling on investigators to look into possible racial motivations in the mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on April 15.
Eight people were killed in that shooting and four of them were members of the Sikh community. That shooter has been identified as Brandon Hole, a former FedEx employee.
“It’s undeniable that this FedEx facility was very well-established as a place of employment for an extremely high number of Sikh employees and the gunman knew that,” said Nikki Singh, policy and advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition.
IMPD interviewed Hole in March 2020 after police were called to his home because his mother feared he was suicidal and wanted to die by “suicide by cop.” Police say they confiscated a shotgun and an officer discovered white supremacist websites on Hole’s computer.
Hole underwent an evaluation and was eventually released without being prescribed any medicine, according to IMPD and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.
A statement by Sikh Coalition Legal Director Amrith Kaur reads:
A complete and thorough investigation – including determining the motives behind this attack and any connection Mr. Hole has to hate and white supremacy groups – is essential to providing justice and building trust between the Sikh community and local and federal law enforcement. A full and transparent recitation of those facts is also necessary to maintaining that trust moving forward. The reality is, even if Mr. Hole was a disgruntled employee due to the fact that Sikh employees were getting more hours than him or for any other reason, it is essential to connect the dots of all of his activities leading up to this tragic attack to fully understand the role racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy may have played in his alleged anger toward his former employer.
The FBI said it didn’t find any “Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology” during its assessment when they interviewed Hole in April 2020.
“This information stands in confusing contrast to the statement released by FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan on Friday, April 16,” said Kaur. “Per Agent Keenan, ‘No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology was identified during the course of the assessment’ in 2020. We now know that this statement does not accurately reflect all of the facts of this case, and are seeking full transparency by the investigating agencies. Additionally, to further this investigation, it is imperative that all witnesses to the shooting be interviewed by law enforcement immediately.”
The FBI says they are not ruling out any motive and will continue to work with IMPD and other investigators to get answers for the victims’ families.
The coalition has since sent a letter to IMPD, the FBI, Governor Eric Holcomb, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett regarding their concerns. You can read that letter here.