April 16 (Reuters) – Update: Adds quotes from FedEx worker, mayor, updates on people taken to hospital)
A gunman shot eight people dead and injured several others at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis before taking his own life, police said early on Friday.
The incident occurred at a FedEx operations center near the Indianapolis International airport, after 11pm local time on Thursday night.
A worker at the facility told local television station WRTV that he was eating when he heard what sounded like “two loud metal clangs” followed by more shots.
“Somebody went behind their car to the trunk and then got another gun,” he said, adding: “Then I saw one body on the floor.”
Indianapolis police spokeswoman Genae Cook told local reporters the authorities had “arrived to an active shooter incident.”
“Preliminary information is that the alleged shooter has taken his own life here at the scene,” she said.
Five people were taken to hospitals with gunshot injuries, while “multiple” others had walked into hospitals nearby. Two more were treated at the facility itself by medical staff and released, according to the police.
One of the people taken to hospital was in critical condition, Cook said.
At least 30 people have been killed in mass shootings around the United States in the last month. President Joe Biden has announced limited measures to tackle gun violence, but more ambitious steps may be hard to enact despite broad support.
The Indianapolis police department’s deputy chief, Craig McCartt, told CNN that police did not fire any shots in the incident.
“There seems to be a lack of conflict resolution skills and people are way too quick to pick up a gun and solve their problems with a gun today. But everyone should be concerned about the frequency that these are happening,” he said.
Television footage showed victims’ families, friends and work mates, all with face masks on due to the pandemic and most holding their mobile phones, at a “family unification center” set up by authorities in a nearby hotel.
A FedEx spokesman said the company was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the loss of its team members. He did not clarify if all those killed were FedEx employees.
“Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities,” he added.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett wrote on Twitter early on Friday: “This morning, Indianapolis residents are confronted with the horrific news of yet another mass shooting, an act of violence that senselessly claimed the lives of eight of our neighbors.”
U.S. Congressman André Carson, a representative for Indiana, wrote on Twitter: “I am heartbroken by the mass shooting at the FedEx facility here in Indianapolis and praying for all affected by this tragedy.” (Reporting by Shubham Kalia, Nandakumar D, Akriti Sharma and Akshay Lodaya in Bengaluru, Susan Heavey in Washington and Njuwa Maina; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Michael Perry, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Hugh Lawson)
Photo – https://twitter.com/wrtv