PLAINFIELD, Ind. — For survivors of the mass shooting at a Plainfield FedEx, now is the time to process what they just lived through. Some may be hearing the names of the eight victims for the first time or realizing who the 19-year-old suspect is. It’s also a time to relive how they made it out alive.
“My heart hurts. I feel horrible for the families that have to suffer. For the people who were victims of this man,” says Jeremiah Levi Miller who was able to escape that night.
Miller was on break with three other workers when he heard the first series of shots. As the frequency of gunfire began to rise, Miller stood on a bench for a better look. He believes he saw suspect Brandon Hole shoot to his right while yelling out words that Miller could not make out.
“When I saw those gunshots, I immediately told my friends, this guy has a gun. I ducked and hid into the shadows in the shed,” retells Miller.
The mother of one of the four coworkers also works at the FedEx facility. She came around to pick them up in a car to whisk them to safety. That’s when Miller began to help others. A shift change was occurring at that time.
“FedEx works 24-hours, so there are multiple people from different shifts coming in and out,” adds Miller, “I remember telling everyone who was driving to work that there was a shooter.
Miller believes he may have seen Hole’s face once or twice but has never interacted with the shooter. At a nearby building, other survivors had taken cover not knowing if the shooter would come their way.
“You can’t even go into the locker room, stay in the break room there’s an active shooter,” Jose Lara says recounting what coworkers told him, “They were telling us they didn’t know what time they would let us out.”
FedEx has a no cell phone policy, so Lara and Miller say people inside could not contact help. Luckily, Miller was on break, so he had his phone, and was able to call law enforcement.
“There needs to be a change in FedEx policies. At FedEx you are not allowed to bring your phone in,” says Miller, “I feel the story would have played out differently if everyone had their personal belongings.”
Even if the policy were to change, Miller is unsure if he would ever feel comfortable working in that particular building again.