18 April 2021

FedEx gunman legally bought rifles despite red flag laws – US police

18 April 2021

The former employee who shot dead eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally bought the two rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent such purchases, police said.

A trace of the two guns found by investigators at the scene revealed that suspect Brandon Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, legally bought the rifles last July and September, officials with the Indianapolis police said.

The police did not say where Hole bought the weapons, citing the ongoing investigation, but said he was seen using both rifles during the assault.

Authorities said Hole shot dead eight people, four of them from the city’s Sikh community, at the FedEx facility late on Thursday before killing himself.

FedEx Shooting Indianapolis (AP)

The FBI said agents had questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say her son might commit “suicide by cop”.

Officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the call, according to a police report. Police said the gun was never returned to him.

Republican Senator Todd Young called for more mental health services across all levels of government.

“We know that we have a Hoosier family who cried out for help, knowing they had a child who required mental health treatment.

“We know we have members of our law enforcement community who, for a period of time, responded to that call for help. And we know that in the end, that wasn’t enough,” he told The Associated Press before addressing a gathering at the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang, a Sikh house of worship on the east side of Indianapolis.

FedEx Shooting Indianapolis (AP)

Mr Young questioned whether Indiana’s red flag laws “were actually enforced” to prevent the shooting.

Indiana has had a “red flag law” allowing police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence since 2005.

It became one of the first states to enact such a law after an Indianapolis police officer was killed by a man whose weapons had to be returned despite being admitted to hospital months earlier for an emergency mental health evaluation.

The law is intended to prevent people from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are found by a judge to present “an imminent risk” to themselves or others.

Authorities have two weeks after seizing someone’s weapon to argue in court that the person should not be allowed to possess a gun.

Officials have not said whether a Hole’s case was brought before a judge.

Michael Leffler, a spokesman for the Marion County Prosecutor, said on Sunday that the office is “looking into this matter”.

If Hole had a court hearing and prevailed, state law indicates the shotgun would have been returned to him.

If a judge ruled him dangerous or incompetent, however, he should have been barred from buying another gun.

FedEx Shooting Indianapolis (AP)

Gaganpal Dhaliwal, a member of the Sikh community who also spoke at the gathering on Sunday, added that victims’ families want to see “common sense gun laws” and stricter hate crime policies.

“This shooter had a shotgun confiscated, but he was still able to get his hands on rifles,” Mr Dhaliwal said. “We need to make sure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands.”

Mr Dhaliwal also called for roughly two dozen fast-tracked visas from the US and Indian governments to allow relatives to travel for funeral ceremonies that will take place in the next two weeks, he said.

Hole was a former employee at the FedEx facility who left his job last year, police said. Authorities have not yet announced a possible motive for the attack.

Hole’s family said in a statement they are “so sorry for the pain and hurt” his actions caused.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox