INDIANAPOLIS — The leader of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police says Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears “failed” to keep guns away from accused FedEx shooter Brandon Hole.
In March of 2020, police received a call that Hole might attempt “suicide by cop.” As a result, the 19-year-old was taken to the hospital, and police seized a shotgun he had purchased that year. The weapon was never returned to him.
According to FOP President Rick Snyder, the police “took all steps available to them” to prevent Hole from accessing more firearms.
Indiana’s red flag law allows the seizure of firearms from potentially dangerous people. However, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office never filed with the court to apply the red flag law to the accused FedEx shooter. As a result, Hole was able to purchase more guns effortlessly — and used them to kill eight people on April 15, 2021.
“Unfortunately, the lack of action by the Marion County Prosecutor prevented a court hearing, which could have … prohibited the suspect from owning … any other firearms,” said Snyder. “Why didn’t the prosecutor use all the legal tools available?”
Earlier in the week, Mears blamed “loopholes” in the red flag law that prevented his office from getting the necessary information to keep Hole from buying guns.
If the prosecutor’s office had filed to apply the red flag law, within 14 days of the seizure, the court would hold a hearing. That hearing would then determine whether the firearms would be seized or retained.
Prosecutor Mears said that because the state only has 14 days to move forward with a court filing, it limits their access to medical and mental health records. This limitation, he says, is enhanced in Indiana, where entities have 30 days to respond to a subpoena for records.
Still, Snyder believes more could have been done. “The prosecutor appears to have raised the suggestion that the system failed, but I would point out that in this instance, the system didn’t fail,” said Snyder. “Instead, Prosecutor Mears failed to give the system a chance to work.”