By Anthony DeRosa 

What happened in Indianapolis?

Around 11 p.m. Thursday, a gunman arrived at the parking lot of a FedEx Corp. facility in Indianapolis, got out of his car, and started shooting at people, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Deputy Chief Craig McCartt said at a news conference Friday morning. The man then entered the building, shooting at more people before killing himself.

When police arrived, they found "an active and chaotic crime scene," Deputy Chief McCartt said. The incident lasted only a few minutes, and by the time police went inside the facility, "the situation was over," he said.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor said officers rushed to the incident and "when they arrived on the scene they found something that really no one should see."

What do we know about those injured in the shooting?

Eight people were killed. Five people were taken to local hospitals, police said. Two others were treated at the scene and released. Of the deceased, four were found in the parking lot and four inside the facility.

Fred Smith, the founder and chief executive of FedEx, confirmed Friday that the eight killed were workers at the Indianapolis Ground facility. In a message to employees, he said it would take some time to understand what happened in "this senseless act of violence."

Mr. Smith said the company was cooperating with law enforcement and providing counselors to local employees and their families.

Deputy Chief McCartt said the Marion County coroner's office would be working to identify the victims, a process he hoped would be completed in the next 24 hours.

What do we know about the gunman?

Police didn't identify the gunman. Police and local FBI agents were searching the home of a potential suspect, they said. Authorities are working with FedEx to determine whether the gunman worked or had worked for the company, police said.

What do we know about the facility where the shooting occurred?

The FedEx facility, more than 300,000 square feet, near the Indianapolis airport is part of the company's FedEx Ground operations, which mostly handles its e-commerce parcels. The company also operates a major FedEx Express hub at the airport.

In certain areas of FedEx Ground facilities, only authorized workers are allowed to have access to their phones, a company spokeswoman said Friday. The policy aims to "minimize potential distractions around package sortation equipment and dock operations."

Deputy Chief McCartt said the cellphone policy didn't appear to have delayed reporting the shooting to police. Many employees didn't have their cellphones after the shooting, which delayed their ability to reach family members, he said.

"That was certainly frustrating for those employees as well as their families," he said.

Have there been shootings at shipping facilities before?

There have been several smaller shootings at FedEx and UPS facilities in recent years. In June 2017, a UPS warehouse worker opened fire during a morning meeting of delivery drivers in San Francisco, killing three before turning the gun on himself.

Have there been other shootings lately in the U.S.?

In recent weeks, there has been a rash of mass shootings in the U.S., after comparatively few over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. On March 16, a gunman killed eight people at spas and massage parlors in the Atlanta area. Days later, another gunman killed 10 at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo.

Mass shootings tend to come in clusters, and when one occurs another is likely to follow, according to research by the Violence Project, a mass-shooting database founded by criminology professors Jillian Peterson and James Densley.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 16, 2021 13:37 ET (17:37 GMT)

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