INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased the two assault rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent that, police said.
A trace of the two guns found by investigators at the scene revealed that suspect Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, legally bought the rifles in July and September of last year, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
IMPD did not share where Hole bought the guns, citing the ongoing investigation, but said Hole was witnessed using both rifles during the assault.
Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt said Hole began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility late Thursday, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself.
Indiana has had a “red flag law” allowing police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence since 2005, when it became one of the first states to enact such a law after an Indianapolis police officer was killed by a man whose weapons had to be returned despite hospitalization months earlier for an emergency mental health evaluation.
The law is intended to prevent people from purchasing or possessing a firearm if they are found by a judge to present “an imminent risk” to themselves or others.
Authorities have two weeks after seizing someone’s weapon to argue in court that the person should not be allowed to possess a gun, according to the law. Officials have not said whether a judge made a red flag ruling in Hole’s case.
Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology.
A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother’s call. Keenan said the gun was never returned.
McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting.
Investigators searched a home Friday in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, McCartt said.
Hole’s family said in a statement Saturday they are “so sorry for the pain and hurt” his actions caused.