4 Sikhs among 8 killed in Indianapolis shooting; Indian embassy reaches out

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Four Sikhs, including three women, were among eight people killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility — staffed by a large number of Indian-American employees — in Indianapolis, the capital of the US state of Indiana.

The Indian embassy in the US has reached out to the local authorities, as India’s Consul General in Chicago Amit Kumar spoke to the Mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, who assured full support. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday morning expressed “deep shock” over the killings and offered to “render all possible assistance”.

Late Friday night, the Marion County Coroner’s Office and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) released the names of the victims.

They are Amarjeet Johal (66), Jasvinder Kaur (64), Amarjit Sekhon (48), Jaswinder Singh (68), Karli Smith (19), Samaria Blackwell (19), Matthew R. Alexander (32) and John Weisert (74).

One of the injured, Harpreet Singh Gill (45), was hit by a bullet near the eye and is in hospital.

“The Indianapolis police have identified the victims of the tragic shooting incident…, which include persons from Indian-American Sikh community. Our consulate in Chicago is in touch with the local authorities in Indianapolis as well as the community leaders, and will render all possible assistance, as required,” the Indian embassy in the US said.

The gunman was identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole, a former employee. He allegedly died by suicide after the shooting on late Thursday night at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis. He was last employed by FedEx in 2020.

This is the worst Sikh massacre in the US after the Oak Creek Gurdwara mass shooting in Wisconsin on August 5, 2012, where seven members of the community were killed.

About 90 per cent of the workers at this delivery service facility are said to be Indian-Americans, mostly from the Sikh community.

US President Joe Biden ordered the national flag to be flown half-staff at federal buildings. “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,” Biden said.

(With PTI input from Washington)



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