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Remembering the 8 people killed in the Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting 1 year ago

Eight people were fatally shot at shift change at the FedEx Ground facility near the airport on April 15, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — Eight people were shot and killed as they arrived to work or were about to go home about 11:00 p.m. on April 15, 2021 at the FedEx Ground facility in the Ameriplex complex west of the Indianapolis International Airport.

Matt Alexander was 32 years old. He loved Christmas and baseball. He played for Avon High School, where he graduated in 2007.  

"Just hug your kids, tell them you love them, because you never know when will be the last time that you'll see them,” said Debbie Alexander, Matt’s mother, about a week after the shooting.

Matt's family has established a memorial baseball tournament and annual scholarship in his memory.

Nineteen-year-old Samaria Blackwell from Beech Grove was the youngest of four children in her family. She was named after the Good Samaritan, a story Jesus told about loving your neighbor.  

"She became that protector, that provider, that lover, and served and just loved on people,” said Samaria’s father, Jeff Blackwell, on the day of her funeral. “Samaria really did find the outcast and hung onto them, and the oddballs, and so she just kind of grew into her name."

RELATED: Reaction to final report on Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting

Samaria wanted to serve by becoming a police officer. Police departments from all over the country sent uniform patches to her family. Law enforcement honored her like one of their own with a funeral escort to the gravesite.    

Karli Smith was also just 19, a 2020 graduate of George Washington High School. She played softball and liked to send selfies to friends and family. Karli was waiting for a ride home after work when she was shot and killed.

"The fact that this even took place is a detrimental blow to her friends, her family,” said Karli’s father, Matt Alexander. “It's an ongoing process for me to me to have to comprehend because no one should ever have to bury their child." 

John Weisert, who went by Steve, was the oldest victim at 74. We first learned about the retired engineer as his wife, Mary Carol, waited at a hotel and eventually received the worst news the day after the shooting. The couple would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last fall. 

"It's so hard not having your companion,” Mary Carol Weisert said recently. “We did everything together. It's unfathomable. A lot of times I feel like, 'How am I going to go on? How am I going to do this?'”

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

Four of the victims were from the Sikh community, which also makes up most of the workforce at the FedEx Ground facility.

Jaswinder Singh, 68, just started working at FedEx two weeks before the shooting. He was shot and killed waiting in line for his first paycheck. 

"In our culture, we depend on our elders,” said Harjap Singh Dhillon, a family member gathered at Jaswinder’s Greenwood home after his death. “What ever we do, we need his advice. So the whole family is feeling now he's not here, so a big part is gone of our family." 

Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66, was a mother and grandmother. Her family says anyone who knew her would say that she was their mother. She loved to cook and found joy in feeding people.

"One of the strongest pillars of the family that brought the whole family together,” said Amarjeet’s son, Gurinder Johal. “The most selfless person that you could ever meet. I guess if you want to say compared to anybody, the most selfless person you'll ever meet that can be compared to God."

Gurinder spoke about his mother at a news conference Monday. Johal’s family is among five victims represented in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed this week against FedEx. 

Fifty-year-old Jasvinder Kaur and 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon were related by marriage. They rode to work together and were shot in their car as they arrived.
Amarjit worked the night shift to provide for her disabled husband and two sons.

Eight FedEx employees gone for a year now. Their families are forever changed. 

Five other people were shot and survived that night. We reached out to several survivors, but they chose not to comment at this time. 

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