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Prayer service held to remember FedEx shooting victims as anniversary nears

The service was a time for singing, prayer and reflection. It was also a time to recognize the impact the shooting had on the broader community.

INDIANAPOLIS — As the one-year anniversary of the FedEx mass shooting approaches, a public gathering was held Sunday to pray, mourn and remember the eight people who were killed and also to acknowledge and reflect upon the wider impact the shooting had on the community. 

The Sikh Satang of Indianapolis and Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC) hosted a prayer service on Sunday, five days before the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting.

On April 15, 2021, a gunman opened fire at the FedEx Ground facility at 8951 Mirabel Road, killing eight people and injuring seven others before killing himself. Four of those who died were members of the Sikh community. 

The victims were identified as: 

RELATED: Faces of the victims in the Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting

The service, which was open to the public, was a time for singing, prayer and reflection. It was also a time to recognize the suffering the shooting evoked upon the broader community. 

“As members of the Sikh community, it is important for us to recognize that the entire Indianapolis community has been impacted by the shooting at FedEx,” said Gurpreet Singh, president of the Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis. “Therefore, we are hosting this remembrance prayer to acknowledge the trauma, as well as to support all the families and community members."

The event was heavily attended by the media and local officials, including Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. 

Singh said he hoped the remembrance ceremony would increase awareness of Sikh culture.

RELATED: What is Sikhism? Breaking down an often-stereotyped religion

Since the shooting, IWC has worked to bring more awareness about the Sikh culture and support to members of the community. IWC received funding through the federal Victims of Crime Act and partnered with Eskenazi Health to establish a Virtual Resiliency Center. As part of this initiative, IWC is hiring two Punjabi-speaking community navigators to provide resources to those who survived the shooting and their families. 

“I think it is important for the community to come together to support each other to heal from this trauma,” said Gurinder Hohl, CEO of IWC. “This prayer ceremony is one of the many steps to begin the process of addressing the needs of our community members impacted by this heinous act of violence.”

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