Washington, April 18
The family of the 19-year-old mass shooter in Indiana who killed eight people, including four Indian-Americans, has apologised to the relatives of the victims, saying they were “devastated” by the actions of their son and that they tried to get him the help he needed.
The gunman, identified as Brandon Scott Hole, shot and killed himself after opening fire at the FedEx Ground Facility in Indianapolis on Thursday night. He was a former FedEx employee.
Hole’s family released a statement to the families of the victims and the Indianapolis community on Saturday.
“We are devastated at the loss of life caused as a result of Brandon’s actions; through the love of his family, we tried to get him the help he needed. “Our sincerest and most heartfelt apologies go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy. We are so sorry for the pain and hurt being felt by their families and the entire Indianapolis community.”
Hole is accused of killing Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.
Police say they are trying to understand the motive behind the mass shooting incident.
In March 2020, Hole’s mother told law enforcement authorities that he might attempt “suicide by cop,” the FBI’s Indianapolis office said.
Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said Hole was placed on an immediate mental health temporary hold by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. He also said a shotgun was seized at Hole’s residence.
“Based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020,” CNN quoted the statement as saying.
“No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology was identified during the course of the assessment and no criminal violation was found. The shotgun was not returned to the suspect.”
McCartt said that Indianapolis police found Hole’s name in two past incident reports.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD)announced on Saturday that Hole purchased two guns used in the attack legally.
“During Thursday’s incident, the suspect, Brandon Hole, was witnessed using assault rifles in the assault,” it said.
“ATF conducted a trace on the two weapons. IMPD learned that Brandon Hole purchased the rifles legally in July and September of 2020.”
While Hole’s motive is not yet known, “he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees, and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence”, said Satjeet Kaur, executive director of the Sikh Coalition.
That sentiment was echoed in a letter to the Biden administration on Saturday, in which the Sikh Coalition wrote, “It was no accident that the shooter targeted this particular FedEx facility where he had worked and knew was overwhelmingly staffed by Sikhs”.
“The people that were shot and killed were not random targets,” the coalition said.
“As such, we implore the Administration to ensure that this shooting is not simply dismissed by the media or law enforcement and acknowledge what it is—a deliberate act intended to inflict the most harm against diverse Americans.” — PTI