Once again, the United States woke up this Friday affected by a shooting, in this case in Indianapolis (Indiana), where eight people have died and five others have been injured after a 19-year-old armed man opened fire before taking his own life , in an event for which the reasons are still unknown.
Around 11:00 p.m. local time on Thursday (04:00 a.m. Spanish time this Friday) the attacker began firing at point-blank range at a warehouse of the postal services company FedEx, located near the Indianapolis airport.
Upon arrival at the scene, the police found four of the deceased outside the center and another four inside. “When the agents arrived they found a chaotic and active crime scene, they found several victims – wounded and several deceased victims – as well as the suspect apparently dead from a self-inflicted weapon wound, ” said the deputy director of Investigations of the Indianapolis Police Craig McCartt at a press conference this Friday.
Through interviews with witnesses, the authorities have found out that the suspect arrived at the scene in a vehicle and began shooting indiscriminately in the warehouse parking lot and later entered the premises before taking his own life.
At that time there were about 100 people in the place , many of them in full shift change or on their dinner break.
The assailant ” had no confrontation with anyone, no discussion , he just started shooting indiscriminately,” McCartt said.
At the moment, authorities consider it too “premature” to discuss the motives of the suspect, who has been identified as Brandon Hole, a 19-year-old former FedEx employee who worked at that warehouse until fall 2020.
The injured have been taken to hospital, one of them in a critical situation. On the other hand, four of the deceased are members of the Sikh religious community. Three women and a man whose families are calling for any possible hate bias in the crime to be investigated.
McCartt added that they do not know the reasons why the attacker stopped working for FedEx and stressed that the authorities have found “a couple of police reports”, one from last year and another “possibly” from 2018, in which Hole appears.
A statement from the FBI, quoted by CNN revealed that Hole was in the past detained temporarily in a detention center psychiatric and he seized a gun fire at the time.
His mother told the FBI in March 2020 that her son might attempt suicide by behaving in a threatening manner in order to have security forces shoot him down.
Hole was questioned a month later by the FBI, which did not see any “racially motivated violent extremism” in him or found him to have committed any crime, although the seized weapon was not returned to him.
The suspect was carrying an automatic rifle during the event on Friday, according to one of the witnesses, Levi Miller, who was inside the warehouse, told the NBC television network.
Miller, a FedEx employee, was eating with colleagues when he heard what appeared to be gunshots inside the building. At first he thought it was a damaged motor vehicle, but when he heard six shots and then another 10, he got up and saw the figure of a man who was firing “in arbitrary directions” , while shouting, although he did not understand what what did he say.
The Indianapolis Police have not provided details on the type of weapon used and McCartt has limited himself to indicating that the suspect used a rifle.
The debate on weapons reopens
This incident has reopened for the umpteenth time the debate on greater control of firearms in the United States and this Friday many Democrats raised their voices to urge the Senate to pass new legislation.
Specifically, they were referring to a proposal that has already received the green light from the Lower House and that would allow expanding the verification of the criminal records of buyers in transactions between individuals.
This was expressed by the president of the country, Joe Biden , who demanded that the Upper House in a statement strengthen the control of firearms and stop “accepting” a type of violence that “has become something too normal” and it causes 106 fatalities a day in the United States.
“Armed violence is an epidemic in the United States , but we must not accept it, we must act,” he urged.
And he recalled that last week he already asked Congress to pass “common sense laws to prevent armed violence , ” such as strengthening the background check system for gun buyers and “a ban on weapons of war and chargers. high capacity “.
The president has ordered that the flags of public buildings fly at half mast in memory of the victims in Indianapolis.
This incident is the nation’s fifth multi-casualty shooting in recent weeks . The one that occurred on March 22 in a Colorado supermarket, with 10 deaths, was the one that caused the most deaths.
Despite the pandemic that forced many Americans to stay home, the year 2020 was the most fatalities has accumulated by armed violence in the past two decades.
The NGO Amnesty International (AI) insisted this Friday on the need to reform with “common sense” the legislation in the US to restrict the use of firearms .
It is practically impossible that legislative measures for greater control of this type of weapon will go through in the Senate, where the Democrats – the president’s party – have such a narrow majority that they would need to convince at least 10 Republicans to pass them.