Eight die and several are injured in latest mass shooting in the US

Gunman opens fire at FedEx centre near Indianapolis airport in Indiana

A body is taken from a   FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a  gunman on Thursday killed eight people and injured at least seven in a mass shooting. Photograph: A J Mast/The New York Times

A body is taken from a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a gunman on Thursday killed eight people and injured at least seven in a mass shooting. Photograph: A J Mast/The New York Times


Eight people lost their lives and several more were injured when a shooter opened fire at a FedEx centre in Indiana, the latest mass shooting to occur in the United States.

A gunman stormed the facility near Indianapolis airport at around 11 pm local time on Thursday night, officials said. He was a former employee and is believed to have been armed with a rifle.  

The gunman stormed the facility near Indianapolis airport at around 11pm local time on Thursday night, officials said. It is believed he was armed with a rifle.

“Although we will learn more about this case in the coming days and weeks, no piece of information will restore the lives that were taken or the peace that was shattered,” the mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, said at a press conference on Friday.

Craig McCartt, the deputy chief of criminal investigations in the Indianapolis police department, said the gunman began firing as soon as he arrived at the building.

“This suspect came to the facility, and when he came there he got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility,” he said.

“No confrontation or argument; he just appeared to randomly start shooting,” he said, before the gunman entered the building and continued to shoot. The gunman took his own life “very shortly” before officers entered the building, he said.

Many of those who survived the attack were unable to contact their loved ones because they are not allowed carry their mobile phones with them when they are working at the sorting centre.

Mr McCartt denied that the absence of mobile phones led to a delay in the police being informed about the attack. “We were contacted very quickly once things started happening.”

Police officer

The latest mass shooting took place as video emerged of a police officer shooting dead a 13-year-old boy in Chicago two weeks ago.

The nine-minute bodycam footage shows the 34 year-old police officer running after 13 year-old Adam Toledo in an alley in Little Village, a Mexican neighbourhood in the city.

The officer, Eric Stillman, orders the boy to stop and raise his hands. The boy appears to raise his hands just before the officer shoots him. He then says “shots fired, shots fired. Get an ambulance over here now.”

The Chicago Police Department said immediately following the incident on March 29th that Toledo had a gun in his hand. However, a lawyer for the boy’s family said he did not have a gun when he was shot. “If he had a gun, he tossed it,” said attorney Adeena Weiss-Ortiz.

Responding to the Indianapolis shooting on Friday, President Joe Biden said in a statement: “Once again I have the solemn duty of ordering the flag lowered at half-staff at the White House, public buildings and grounds, and military posts and embassies, just two weeks after I gave the last such order.

“Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.…Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.”

His message was echoed by vice-president Kamala Harris, who opened her comments with Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga by addressing the tragedy.

“Yet again we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence. There is no question that this violence must end, and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.”

Ghost guns

The Indiana shooting occurred just a week after Mr Biden unveiled several executive measures aimed at curbing gun violence, including a clampdown on so-called “ghost guns” –  weapons that are assembled from constituent pieces and lack serial numbers, making it difficult for them to be traced.

Yet fundamental reform of gun laws in America needs support from Congress – a prospect that looks highly unlikely, particularly in the Senate where Democrats have the slimmest of majorities.

While the House of Representatives passed two bills tightening background checks on gun-ownership this year, they have yet to be taken up by the Senate. Two Democratic senators – Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal – are acting behind the scenes to try and convince some Republicans to support gun-control measures.

The Indiana shooting is the sixth public mass shooting in five weeks, following gun attacks involving multiple victims in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Excessive use of police force has also come into focus in recent days in Minneapolis, where a police officer has been charged with killing a 20-year-old African-American man. Police officials say that 48 year-old Kim Potter accidentally used her gun instead of her taser on the victim.