Eight people and a gunman are dead following a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis late Thursday. Several other people were also injured.
City leaders and law enforcement held a news conference Friday morning. Here’s what we learned:
- Four of the victims were found outside the FedEx facility, four were found inside, according to Craig McCartt, the deputy chief of criminal investigations for Indianapolis Police. The suspect was also found dead, in addition to those eight people.
- Indianapolis police said they “have an idea” of who the shooter was, but did not formally identify him.
- The FBI is helping law enforcement search the suspect’s house, according to Paul Keenan, the special agent in charge.
- Police believe the shooter was using a rifle, McCartt said. He said they “don’t have the specifics on the weapon yet.” Police earlier said the shooter started firing in the parking lot of the facility before entering the building.
- McCartt said when officers arrived at the scene, “they found a very chaotic and active crime scene.” Then, detectives arrived and started interviewing witnesses and the department’s crime lab started processing the scene. A reunification site was set up at a nearby hotel.
What we still don’t know:
- Officials have not identified the victims. Alfarena McGinty, the chief deputy coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said they are in the process of conducting their investigation, but they cannot enter the crime scene to confirm the victims’ identity until all of the evidence has been collected.
- There has not been a determination of motive. Paul Keenan, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Indianapolis, said “it would be premature to speculate,” but there is no further threats.
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is “horrified” by the shooting, adding that President Biden has been briefed on the incident.
- Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the shooting ahead of her bilateral meeting with the Japanese prime minister saying, “this violence must end.”
- President Biden ordered flags at half-staff at the White House and called gun violence “an epidemic in America.”
- Officials say there is still a long way to go in the investigation. “There is a lot of work to do out there,” McCartt said.
- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said he anticipates they will learn more about the shooting “in the coming days and weeks.”
- The Marion County Coroner’s Office says it anticipates having the examinations of the victims done in the next 48 to 72 hours.
President Biden said he’s been briefed on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is ordering flags at half-staff at the White House.
“Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” Biden said in a statement. “Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.”
Read the President’s full statement:
Vice President Harris and I have been briefed by our homeland security team on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a lone gunman murdered eight people and wounded several more in the dark of night.
Today’s briefing is just the latest in a string of tragedies, following closely after gunmen firing bullets in broad day light at spas in and around Atlanta, Georgia, a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and so many other shootings.
While we await critical details about the shooting, its motivation, and other key information, once again, I have the solemn duty of ordering the flag lowered at half-staff at the White House, public buildings and grounds, and military posts and embassies, just two weeks after I gave the last such order.
It’s a mass shooting just a week after we met, in the Rose Garden, with families who lost children and dear friends as bullets pierced their bodies and souls in schools, a night club, in a car at a gas station, and a town meeting at a grocery store. And it came just the night before 14th anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman murdered 32 people.
Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation.
Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.
Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence. I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people – including the vast majority of gun owners – to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines.
Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.
We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.
God bless the eight fellow Americans we lost in Indianapolis and their loved ones, and we pray for the wounded for their recovery.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is “horrified” by the shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and added that President Biden has been briefed on the incident.
“Key aides, including the White House chief of staff and homeland security adviser have been in touch with local leaders and law enforcement officials on the ground,” she told reporters on Friday.
Paski also reminded that the President issued executive orders to address gun violence in the United States — stopping the proliferation of ghost guns and better regulating stabilizing braces, making it easier for states to implement red flag laws; increasing investments in improving community violence intervention programs.
“There is more we can do and must do,” she said.
She also renewed the call for the Senate to speedily confirm David Chipman, Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and pass legislation to strengthen background checks and ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines and immunity for gun manufacturers.
Psaki said a statement from the President will be released shortly.
Vice President Kamala Harris briefly addressed the deadly shooting in Indianapolis and said President Biden would address the incident later Friday.
“Yet again we have families in America that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” she said ahead of her bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“There is no question this violence must end and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones. And the President will speak later about the case.”
Shortly before Harris’ comments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was “horrified” by the shooting.
Alfarena McGinty, the chief deputy coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said they are not able to identify any of the shooting victims yet, and the coroner’s office is “in the process of conducting our investigation.”
“What we typically have to do is wait until all of the evidence has been collected. We are not able to go on to the scene yet to confirm any identity,” she said.
Right now, McGinty said the coroner’s office is working with the police department’s Victim Assistance and Chaplin Office to gather information.
She explained how the state of Indiana specifies how victims are identified, adding, “that process will take a little bit of time.”
“As you all know Indiana is very specific in how positive identification can be done – which is identification by a family member, dental, DNA and fingerprints – and so adhering to all of those measures, we must make sure that people that are identified on the scene are accurately and appropriately positively identified,” she said.
“We are still a number of hours out before we are able to go on to the scene to conduct our investigation, and then after that, we’ll work with the families. Following that process, what we have to do is we will perform our examinations,” she said, adding extra staff will be called in to complete those examinations in the next 48 to 72 hours.
Those investigations will confirm the actual cause of death, McGinty said.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said just last week, he had joined 150 mayors across America and signed a letter to the US Senate asking to consider legislation that requires background checks when firearms are transferred between private citizens.
This would “close the Charleston loophole, which allows federally licensed firearm dealers to transfer guns to customers before an adequate background check is completed,” the Democratic mayor told reporters on Friday, adding that it “at least indicates what I would like to see done legislatively.”
Earlier in the press conference, a police officer said he believed a rifle was involved in the shooting, although more details were not yet clear.
“We believe there was a rifle involved. We don’t have the specifics on the weapon yet. Again, we’re still processing that. All that hasn’t been collected yet. But we do believe right now that he had a rifle,” said Craig McCartt, the deputy chief of criminal investigations for Indianapolis Police.
“My concern about the Indiana General Assembly is I believe they only have three or four days left. We’ll make it clear to our governor and to legislative leadership where I stand on these issues,” the Hogsett added.
Indianapolis police officers found four of the shooting victims outside the FedEx facility Thursday and another four inside the building, officials said this morning at a news conference.
Eight people died in the shooting, and the suspect took his own life, police said.
“I believe that we had four (victims) — four outside and then four inside, plus the suspect,” Craig McCartt, deputy chief of investigations for Indianapolis police, said Friday.
Police earlier said the shooter started firing in the parking lot of the facility before entering the building.
Indianapolis police are yet to formally identify the suspect in Thursday’s shooting but “have an idea” as to who the person is.
Craig McCartt, deputy chief of investigations for Indianapolis police, said officers did have other leads on the shooter’s identity.
The FBI is assisting police officers with searching a suspect’s house, Paul Keenan, special agent in charge, said at a news conference Friday.
“We have an idea, we have some other leads that led us to that location,” McCartt said.
“But again, until we make positive identification along with the coroner’s office, we’re not going to identify anybody.”
The shooter died of a self inflicted wound Thursday, after killing eight people during the incident.
Deputy Chief Craig McCartt with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police described what happened when officials arrived at the FedEx, but said “this investigation is still very much in its infancy” and officials are still working to figure out what happened.
He said officers responded to a call of shots fired at the facility. When they arrived “they found a very chaotic and active crime scene,” McCartt said.
“They found several victims injured and several victims deceased as well as the suspect, who was deceased, as well, of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound,” he said.
McCartt said detectives then arrived and started interviewing witnesses. The department’s crime lab also responded and started processing the crime scene.
“That continues now and we’re still several hours from being able to complete that at this time. There is a lot of work to do out there,” he said.
The department’s Victim Assistance and Chaplin office came to help take employees, witness and families to the family reunification site that was set up at a nearby hotel, McCartt said.
“We continue to work with those employees and families as we work through identification and speaking with those families,” he said.