INDIANAPOLIS — A week after the deadly mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police is criticizing the Marion County prosecutor for failing to monitor the shooting suspect under the state’s red flag law.
The law, named after slain Indianapolis Police Officer Jake Laird, allows law enforcement to seize firearms if a suspect demonstrates mental instability.
In March 2020, police were called to the home of Brandon Hole after his mother reported Hole wanted to attempt “suicide by cop.”
Police seized a shotgun and placed the teen on temporary hold.
Prosecutors then decided not to file a petition with the court to add the suspect to the red flag list, because his family agreed to forfeit the firearm.
That decision ultimately allowed Hole to legally purchase two assault rifles months later, which he used to attack former coworkers at the FedEx Ground facility, killing eight people.
“The system didn’t fail, instead Prosecutor Mears failed to give the system the chance to work,” said Indy FOP president Rick Snyder.
Snyder believes the Marion County prosecutors office should have at least asked for a court hearing to determine if Hole was a threat, potentially banning him from buying any guns.
“One thing we know for sure is 100 percent of the time they won’t be on the red flag system if you don’t try initiate the process and apply the law,” said Snyder.
“This case does illustrate some of the shortcomings that exist with this red flag law,” said Mears, who earlier this week called for lawmakers to expand the state’s red flag law.
Mears insisted there wasn’t enough evidence to ask a judge to declare Hole an ongoing danger to the community, because prosecutors did not have timely access to Hole’s medical records.
“A loophole did not thwart this opportunity, instead the process was sidestepped,” Snyder suggested.
“I get his point, but there are a lot of moving parts,” said Ralph Staples, a local defense attorney.
Staples agrees both sides have legitimate concerns, but they need to work together to prevent future tragedies.
“Bad facts bring about change, but instead of trying to fix the blame, let’s fix the problem,” he said.
Multiple prosecutors in surrounding counties say they agree the law does have some limitations, but they also believe Mears still should have filed a petition with the court.