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'This whole situation was preventable': Families sue FedEx over deadly mass shooting in Indianapolis

The mass shooting that killed eight people happened April 15, 2021 at the FedEx Ground facility across from the Indianapolis International Airport.

INDIANAPOLIS — The families of five victims of the FedEx mass shooting in Indianapolis last year are now suing FedEx.

The lawsuit is against FedEx Corporation, FedEx Ground Service System, Inc., Federal Express Corporation, FedEx Corporate Services, Inc., and Securitas Security Services, USA.

The mass shooting happened April 15, 2021, at the FedEx Ground facility at 8951 Mirabel Road. That is just south of I-70 near Ameriplex Parkway and across the interstate from the Indianapolis International Airport. 

Eight people were shot and killed. The victims were identified as: 

  • 32-year-old Matthew R. Alexander
  • 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell
  • 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal
  • 50-year-old Jasvinder Kaur
  • 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh
  • 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon 
  • 19-year-old Karli Smith
  • 74-year-old John Weisert

The families that filed the lawsuit were all of victims who were not clocked in and working at the time of the shooting.

Gary Johal, son of Amarjeet Johal, gave a statement during the news conference Monday, calling his mother the "most selfless person you could ever meet."

"Losing her is one of the biggest devastations in our life," Gary said. "This whole situation was preventable. Multiple parties need to be held accountable."

Victim Karli Smith's father, Matt Alexander, also spoke during the news conference. When asked what justice looks like to him in the case, he said, "the prevention of this happening at a future date at a future facility, whether it's FedEx or not."

While not every victim's family is involved in the lawsuit, attorneys said they are all welcome to join it.

Among the claims against all or certain parties are: general negligence; failure to warn; failure to keep premises safe; failure to provide adequate security; negligent hiring, training and supervision. All of the claims can be read in the lawsuit filing below:

The lawsuit is asking for damages to be determined by a jury.

The 19-year-old shooter arrived at the facility around 10:54 p.m. and had a conversation with security to ask about his employment status. He had been employed at the FedEx facility in 2020. He was told he could discuss his employment with management. He then told security he was going to his car to get his ID. 

RELATED: FBI, IMPD final report on Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting reveals 'no racial bias'

After sitting in his car for a short time, the shooter got out of the car and shot at an employee walking to the building. He then entered the building and fired at employees in the locker room area. He could not get past that area but did fire at employees in other areas. 

The suspect then exited the building and fired at vehicles and people in the parking lot. While he was outside, another employee outside was able to get a weapon and fired a shot at the suspect, but he didn't hit the shooter. That employee then got in his car and left the area.

Credit: WTHR/Rich Nye
Employee Earl Johnson recovers at home after being wounded in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on Thursday, April 15, 2021

RELATED: FedEx shooting survivor released from hospital

The shooter continued to fire at people outside the building for about three more minutes. He then went back into the building in the locker room area and took his own life around 11:08 p.m.

The FBI said the shooter thought he would have unrestricted access to the building, but instead, a security point kept him from getting into the building. He had planned the shooting for at least nine months. Federal agents believe he acted alone and no one else was aware of his plans. 

Investigators said there was no reports of any incidents with the shooter and any other employees, and the reason his employment ended was because he stopped showing up for work. 

The FBI reviewed the shooter's computer and found a small amount of Nazi World War II material had been viewed but did not find any evidence of bias in choosing his target.

Police said there was no indication of "racial bias" in the shooting.

Credit: Mary Carol Weisert, Sikh Temple, Smith family, Alexander family, Blackwell family, Komal Chohan
Eight people were killed in the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis and five victims with gunshot wounds were taken to several area hospitals for treatment. Two other victims were treated by medics and released.

It was determined the shooter considered other targets for an attack but chose the FedEx location because he was familiar with it and the pattern of activity at the site.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found the two rifles the shooter used had been purchased legally in July and September of 2020.

The suspect had a March 2020 run-in with law enforcement after his mother had called police, concerned he might attempt "suicide by cop." In that case, police seized a shotgun from the suspect, and the family said they would not seek the return of the gun.  

The Marion County Prosecutor's Office looked to see if the suspect could be deemed a dangerous person. The office said it was a single incident, the individual was in the hospital for only a matter of hours before being released, and no medicine was prescribed. It was for those reasons that the prosecutor's office did not pursue using the state's red flag law against the shooter to prevent him from purchasing guns in the future.

RELATED: FedEx mass shooting victims not filing lawsuit for red flag law failure

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