In March 2020, Brandon Scott Hole’s mother was so worried that her son might be plotting a “suicide by cop,” that she called the FBI to report him.
As a result, authorities detained him on an emergency mental-health hold and seized the shotgun he had purchased a month earlier.
Investigators found no crime had been committed and that Hole did not harbor racial animus—but they did not return the shotgun to him.
Four months later, despite his family’s concerns and the previous involvement of law enforcement, the teen legally bought an assault weapon, the Indianapolis Police Department revealed on Saturday.
Two months after that, he bought another assault weapon. And then on Thursday night, he brought both guns to the Indianapolis FedEx facility where he once worked and opened fire.
Eight people were murdered before Hole took his own life—leaving a city in shock and nine families, including the gunman’s, grieving.
Hole’s family broke their silence Saturday in a statement that alluded to his apparent emotional problems and their call to the FBI a year before.
“We are devastated at the loss of life caused as a result of Brandon’s actions; through the love of his family, we tried to get him the help he needed,” they wrote.
“Our sincerest and most heartfelt apologies go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy. We are so sorry for the pain and hurt being felt by their families and the entire Indianapolis community.”
The family has not granted any interviews and many questions remain unanswered, including the motive behind Thursday’s mass shooting at a FedEx processing facility. The family has not said what kind of help they tried to get him beyond calling the FBI a year ago.
Vigils were held Saturday for the victims, four of whom were members of the Sikh community. The grandson of one, Amarjeet Kaur Joha, decried the violence that has become so commonplace in the U.S.
“I have several family members who work at the particular facility and are traumatized,” he said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star. “My nani, my family and our families should not feel unsafe at work, at their place of worship, or anywhere.
“Enough is enough—our community has been through enough trauma.”
Indianapolis police identified the other victims as Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74. Their stories began trickling out overnight:
- Weisert was about to celebrate his 50th anniversary with wife Mary Carol, who told WTHR that he was a professional engineer who took a package-handling job at FedEx after retirement. “He wanted to keep working. We had some things we needed to pay off, so he took this job,” she said.
- Singh had started working at the facility, sorting mail, this week, an in-law, Harjap Singh Dillon, told The New York Times. “He was going to get his first check,” Dillon said. “He didn’t get it.”
- Blackwell was remembered by other soccer and basketball players with the Indy Genesis, a competitive homeschool athletic association she used to belong to. “Samaria was always smiling and cracking jokes,” one of her teammates wrote on Facebook. She was so loving, goofy, encouraging, and supportive.” A GoFundMe campaign in her honor has so far raised a little more than $10,000 for Blackwell’s family.
- Smith played softball and graduated from Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School in 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile. One of Smith’s relatives said on Facebook that they had heard from Smith at 10:59 p.m., but later found out that she “didn’t make it,” according to the Indianapolis Star. “Ima miss yu sister i love yu man words cant even explain how i feel rn,” her sister Dominique Troutman wrote in a Facebook post. “ima for ever love yu and yu never will be forgotten.”
- Kaur moved to the U.S. three years ago, and was known for her “renowned yogurt” among her family. She was studying to get her driver’s license, a relative told The New York Times, adding, “She doesn’t need a license for anything now.” Authorities gave Kaur’s age as 64, but her family said she was 50.
- Alexander previously attended Butler University, a private college in Indianapolis. “The Butler community is mourning the loss of Matthew Alexander, a former student who was killed tragically along with seven others at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis,” the school said in a statement on Twitter. “We want to extend our deepest sympathies to Matthew’s friends and families during this time of great sorrow.”
- Sekhon had two teenage sons, and moved from Ohio to Indianapolis so she could be closer to family, according to the Times. Sekhon worked the overnight shift at FedEx, and started there about six months ago. “We can’t even think of what to tell him,” her niece said of Sekhon’s younger son, who is 14. “All of a sudden last night his mom went to work, and she never came back today.”