INDIANAPOLIS — A mass shooting at a FedEx ground facility in Indianapolis claimed the lives of eight victims and left several others injured.
On Friday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said “five victims with injuries consistent with gunshot wounds were transported to local hospitals.”
“I’m not no victim, I’m a survivor. That’s what I’m going with. I’m a survivor.”
Those are the words of Angela Hughley, a mother of five who was shot Thursday night as she arrived for her shift at FedEx, which began at 11:30 p.m.
Hughley said she vividly remembers the moments after she pulled in the parking lot and said her life is forever changed by what happened next.
“I stopped, and then next thing I know I see somebody walking towards me just start shooting at me,” she recalled. “So, I backed my car back, and he steady just walking towards me just shooting.”
Hughley said she put her car in drive and “zoomed past him,” but she said at that point she knew she had been hit. Her car was riddled with bullet holes, she said.
“I pulled up on side away from him where he couldn’t see me at the other end of the parking lot. I told the guy, ‘Please call the police. I’ve been hit,'” she recalled.
Hughley said as she was waiting on the phone for a dispatcher, her son, who also works at FedEx, arrived to help her.
“Talking me through it. ‘Mama calm down. It’ll be okay. You got this,'” she recalled.
Hughley said responding officers helped her out of her car. “My son is watching blood just pour out of my body,” she said. “He’s just trying to keep me calm and stay calm himself.”
She said the time she waited as officers kept radioing for an ambulance felt like an eternity.
“He kept calling the dispatcher like, ‘Where’s this ambulance at? She’s critical, she needs to go to the hospital,'” said Hughley.
Hughley said while everything was going on, her biggest concern was whether her son was okay. He did not suffer any physical injuries in the shooting.
“Last thing I remember in the trauma center is me out like a light because they had to hurry up and put the tube in my chest because it was spilling over blood,” she said.
Hughley is recovering in the intensive care unit at a local hospital. She said she suffered injuries to her lungs, rib, spleen and currently has a chest tube in place to help drain blood.
“I’m still having problems breathing. It hurts,” she said.
Less than 48 hours after the shooting, Hughley said she already worries whether the fear she is feeling will go away. She said a nurse dropped an item accidentally while she was sleeping, and the sound of it brought her back to the FedEx parking lot.
“It was a loud pop, and I just woke up out of a sleep like what’s going on, because I’m thinking somebody’s shooting again,” she said.
Her aunt, Anglea Holland, said she was terrified when she received the news Thursday. She said another family member was trying to reach Hughley, and when they couldn’t, they called her 19-year-old son who works at FedEx, who told them he learned she’d been shot.
Holland said she lost a brother about 30 years ago to gun violence and was immediately fearing the worst.
Holland said Hughley’s son rushed to find his mom, but due to the police response, was almost unable to be by her side as she waited for an ambulance.
“When he told them [police] his mom was shot, they let him in and he found her,” said Holland. “Blood was just gushing out of her side.”
Family waited until the mid-morning hours to learn whether she had pulled through.
“They say she got shot once, but she has two great big holes in her,” said Holland. “I look at her, and I look at the holes that are in the side of her body, and it makes me literally want to cry, and I can feel the pain she is going through.”
She worries about the challenges her niece will face caring for her five boys the day she finally returns home. One of Hughley’s sons, who has autism, is having difficulty processing why his mom hasn’t been home, Holland said.
“All we can do is pray that she will get better and that the bullet pieces in her spine don’t move and cause her to be paralyzed,” she said.
“They were doing an honest job, and now they are laid up in the hospital. It don’t make no sense. It’s just senseless,” Holland expressed. “She saw this child shooting, aiming at her, shooting, trying to move a little faster and shot up her car.”
Both Hughley and Holland, like many others, want to know the big question: why?
“He did not have to be so selfish as to take other people’s lives — to put other people in pain,” said Hughley. “Everybody is hurting. His mom is hurting. People that’ve passed, their family is hurt. People like myself and others that are going through the recovery is hurt.”
They recognized that the family of the shooter also lost a child, so both Hughley and Holland sympathized with that and offered their condolences. But they said more needed to be done to prevent this from happening.
“I just don’t understand how it is you can’t take your phone in but yet instead this guy got in with a gun,” said Holland. “I can’t understand it.”
Hughley said she wants the company to answer to why there weren’t more security protocols in place to prevent something like this from happening.
“It’s sad. It’s something that never should have happened. FedEx should have been more aware,” she said. “FedEx did not protect us. Period. They did not protect us.”
Holland said that despite everything she has endured, her niece is in good spirits and the family is working to keep her spirits high so she can have a distraction from the pain.
“I just pray that she gets better,” expressed Holland, “and the other four people in the hospital, I pray that they get better.”
The two women said their hearts are with the families grieving the unimaginable loss of their loved ones.
“I just want to say I’m sorry to all the families that have lost their loved ones,” said Holland. “We all need to come together, pray and try to stop all this violence.”