INDIANAPOLIS – The suspected gunman in a mass shooting that left eight people dead at a FedEx building legally purchased the two rifles used in the massacre months after a shotgun was seized from his home, authorities said.
A trace of the two guns revealed that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, legally bought the rifles in July and September last year, police said. Police declined to say where Hole bought the guns, citing the ongoing investigation.
FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said Hole’s mother contacted law enforcement in March 2020 to report that Hole might try to commit “suicide by cop.”
Records show the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department conducted a mental health check and list Hole as being arrested. The report says police seized a shotgun “from dangerous person.”
Police placed Hole on an immediate detention mental health temporary hold. The FBI interviewed Hole again a month later based on “items observed in the suspect’s bedroom” and said no violent extremist ideology was found or criminal violation detected, authorities said.
The shotgun was not returned to Hole.
Hole, a former FedEx employee, died by suicide after going to the FedEx Plainfield Ground Operations Center on Thursday night and opening fire in the parking lot, then inside the building, killing eight and wounding several others.
Levi Miller, who works at the FedEx facility, told the “Today” show he was eating with co-workers when they heard several gunshots.
“I assumed it was a muzzle problem with a car,” he said. Miller was outside the building and heard about a dozen more shots fired rapidly. He stood up and saw a “hooded figure.”
Miller said he thought the gunman saw him, so he ducked for cover. He said his friends at work told him another man not initially involved pulled a gun from his truck to “try and engage the shooter.”
Police have not revealed a motive for the rampage. Four of the victims were of Sikh descent, and the Sikh Coalition called for a hate crime investigation.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that Sikh community members are among those injured and killed by the gunman in Indianapolis last night,” coalition Executive Director Satjeet Kaur said in a statement.
The victims were identified as Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Karli Smith, 19; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Matthew R. Alexander, 32; John Weisert, 74.
Saturday evening, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., and other officials, as well as co-workers, family and friends of those whose lives were lost, at a candlelight vigil at Krannert Park on the Westside.
“We can’t continue living with the constant threat of gun violence everywhere we go,” Carson said. “It’s not normal. It will never be normal. … Let’s turn this tragedy into a catalyst of change and create safer communities for all Americans.”
Indianapolis City Council President Vop Osili called for “an adult discussion without rancor” about gun violence and how to ensure that no other mass shootings occur.
DeAndra Dycus, Pamela Wooden, Brenda Hutson and other members of Purpose 4 My Pain have all lost love ones to gun violence. When they heard the news that eight more families were experiencing the same pain, Dycus said, they knew they needed to show support.
“I wanted to show solidarity in our community, because we’re tired,” Dycus said. “Enough is enough. And I wanted families who have been impacted by gun violence to know their community is here to support them.”
Hole’s family issued a statement 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,” the statement said. “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.”
Bacon reported from McLean, Virginia. Contributing: Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star