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FedEx statement marks 'somber day' 1 year since Indianapolis mass shooting

"We are working to establish a permanent space in the Indianapolis area that can serve as a place of healing and a beacon of hope..."

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — FedEx issued a statement marking one year since the mass shooting at a Plainfield facility near the airport. Eight people were killed and seven others were injured in the April 15, 2021 shooting.

"We continue to mourn the loss of our team members in the senseless tragedy that occurred nearly one year ago. FedEx Ground is extremely proud of our diverse and inclusive workforce at the station in Plainfield and April 15 will be a somber day of reflection," FedEx said in part in a statement sent to 13News.

NOTE: The above video is from a previous report with IMPD's chief on waiting with the families of the victims the night of the mass shooting.

FedEx said there is no higher priority than the safety of its team. It also pointed to support it has given to employees effected by the mass shooting including employee assistance programs and a fund.

"We are working to establish a permanent space in the Indianapolis area that can serve as a place of healing and a beacon of hope, where community members can gather to honor those affected by this senseless tragedy, and consider the strength, resilience and diversity of the Indianapolis community,” the statement reads at its conclusion. 

These are the names of the victims of the shooting: 

On April 11, 2022, families of five victims of the shooting filed a lawsuit. It is against FedEx Corporation, FedEx Ground Service System, Inc., Federal Express Corporation, FedEx Corporate Services, Inc., and Securitas Security Services, USA.

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

The claims against all or certain parties include 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 mass shooting survivor unknowingly drove right up to gunman

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 were 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.

Three weeks after the shooting, police, the prosecutor's office and the courts decided to change the way red flag cases are handled in Marion County.

Instead of the case going from police to the prosecutor to the court, police would send each case directly to the court.

"The ultimate goal is community safety. We want to make sure that people who should not have guns don't have guns," said IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCart in May 2021.

One year later, 13Investigates asked Chief Randall Taylor how it's working.

"I do think it was a success," Taylor said, referring to the changes. "I don't know of any cases that have slipped through or anything like that. I do think it was a better way for us to go."

RELATED: IMPD: Changes to red flag procedures are working 1 year after FedEx shooting

Last year, according to the prosecutor and the Fraternal Order of Police, police submitted 45 red flag referrals for consideration between January and April. Eight were filed by the prosecutor's office and brought before the court.

In the year since the FedEx shooting, There were 98 weapon retention cases. Only five of them were not filed by the court. According to police, not all weapon retention cases are necessarily red flag cases.

RELATED: 'There's nothing you can do to make it better': Police recount waiting with families who lost loved ones in FedEx shooting

Police must also submit their report to the court within 48 hours of taking someone's weapons.

"Ultimately, I think us going directly through the court is a much more efficient way to go," Taylor said.

Police say none of this works without the public's help. If you're aware of someone who could be dangerous, report it immediately.

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