INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett knelt inside the Gurdwara Sikh Satsang Temple of Indianapolis before being called before the crowd, men on one side, women and children on the other, during a memorial service marking one year since the murders of eight people at a FedEx distribution site on the city’s westside.
“These are difficult times. We have better days ahead. I am your brother. I am your servant. I stand with you in solidarity,” said Hogsett, reminding the temple and everyone in Indianapolis that all the community was wounded by the killings, no matter where they worship.
It was at about 10:30 p.m. last April 15 when a former employee opened fire at the FedEx Ground-Plainfield Operation Center at 8951 Mirabel Road. Eight people died before the shooter took his own life.
Four of the slain were members of the Sikh community.
“I think that the Sikh community worldwide has been hurting about what happened here at FedEx,” said Special Events Coordinator K.P. Singh at the temple. “This prayer was for all of them.”
Families and extended families worked inside the FedEx site and some of the victims were the primary wage earners for their households.
Singh said the Sikh community was still healing over the killings.
“Lot of reflection, lot of anguish, lot of uncertainty, lot of challenges, especially for the victims’ families in regards to some of them are the bread earners in the family,” he said. “A great deal of shock, a great deal of reflection but also a great deal of resilience that we need to move forward helping out our brothers and sisters who lost loved ones.”
Seated next to Hogsett and IMPD Chief Randall Taylor and several of his officers on the floor of the temple was a relative of the gunman. He stood when called out by the community’s leadership.
“We are all together in this tragedy. Our heart goes out to you,” he was told. “Thank you so much.”
“That really took a great deal of courage and goodwill at the same time for that person to be here for us,” said Singh.
The killer’s family has told Fox 59 News that the teenager suffered from mental illness.
Outside the temple, after the service, Hogsett was asked what lessons were learned from the FedEx tragedy.
“We’re also making incredible investments using the American Rescue Plan dollars into mental health, mental illness, both diagnosed and undiagnosed mental illness,” he said. “And I think those investments will pay dividends to help our community avoid those tragic circumstances.”
Monday morning, attorneys representing victims and their families are expected to announce a lawsuit will be filed against FedEx to seek damages as a result of the killings.