Even as the authorities are yet to ascertain the motive behind the mass shooting at the Indianapolis FedEx warehouse, conspiracy theory claiming it to be a hate crime targeting the Sikh community has emerged. Brandon Scott Hole (19), a former employee of FedEx, has been identified as the killer in the mass shooting which left 8 people dead on Thursday night.
The police have released the names of those who were killed in the shootout which started around 11 p.m. The victims include, Amarjeet Johal (66), Jasvinder Kaur (64), Jaswinder Singh (68), Amarjit Sekhon (48), Karlie Smith (19), John Weiser (74), Matthew R Alexander (32), and Samaria Blackwell (19).
Four Among Eight Killed Are Members of Sikh Community
After killing eight people and injuring several others, Hole committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the Law Enforcement authorities, the former FedEx employee had randomly started firing at people in the parking lot before entering the building. "There was no confrontation with anyone that was there. There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting," said Police Chief Craig McCartt.
It was also revealed during the investigation that Hole was removed from his job at FedEx last year for undisclosed reasons. Several social media users pointed out at the possibility of the mass shooting being a hate crime targeting Sikh community members. "This was a targeted hate crime. The majority of the employees at that facility were Sikh. This guy, an ex-employee, knew that. The fact that they won't release his picture should tell you all that you need to know," tweeted a user.
"The 8 lives lost were taken by a 19-year-old, Caucasian, former-employee. He was aware of the Sikh demographic at this FedEx location. This was a hate crime towards the Sikh community," read another tweet.
"That FedEx facility in Indianapolis is a workplace with over 90% Sikh employees. Don't you dare say the mass shooting was attributed to a "mental illness". It was hatred. It was racism. And it was targeted," opined another user.
Sikh Organization Demands InDepth Probe
Demanding an in-depth investigation to ascertain the motive behind killing spree, Sikh Coalition issued a statement. "The Sikh Coalition is deeply saddened to learn that Sikh community members are among those injured and killed by the gunman in Indianapolis last night."
"For now, we are choosing not to share unverified information about the identity of any specific victims, nor speculate the motive or identity of the shooter. On the latter point, we expect authorities will conduct a full investigation-including the possibility of bias as a factor," the statement concluded.
Earlier, speaking to News Nation affiliate WXIN-TV, Hole's stepsister, who didn't wish to be identified, described him as "isolated." Stating that they have a history of mental illness in the family, the step-sister said that their father also committed suicide in 2004.
"We do have a lot of mental illness in our family and he never got the help that he needed," she said. Hole's mother had also contacted FBI last year and feared that the teenager was trying to commit 'suicide by cop.'