Around 500 people attended a memorial at the Lucas Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday to remember the victims of the April 15 FedEx warehouse shooting.
Indiana Governor Eric J Holcomb, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, elected federal and state officials, a special representative from the White House, interfaith leaders and others attended the event, held with the support of the national Sikh organizations including the Sikh Coalition, United Sikhs, and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF).
FedEx was not invited in an official capacity, organizers of the memorial told indica News.
On April 15, a former FedEx employee, Brandon Scott Hole, shot dead seven people and injured at least five people, before killing himself, at an Indianapolis warehouse. Four of the victims who died were Sikhs, two of the five injured are also Sikh. The investigation is still ongoing whether it was a targeted killing of Sikhs, as claimed by community advocacy groups and families of the victims, or not.
“It was a sad incident and we were glad to see the local community came out and supported,” said Dr Sukhwinder Singh, son of local Sikh community leader Balwinder Singh, who hosted the memorial service.
“We are pleased that victims’ families were there as well,” Sukhwinder added.
Asked if anybody from FedEx was there, he said: “They wanted to be part of it but the victims’ families were not comfortable having them there, and so we wanted to respect that.”
A spokesperson for FedEx told indica News: “FedEx joined members of the Indianapolis community this past Saturday to honor those whose lives were taken from us during the tragic incident last month. We stand in solidarity with all of our team members during this difficult time, including those of the Sikh community. Several members of the FedEx management team attended the event, including FedEx ground vice president of operations, Marc Williams.”
Asked about it, Balwinder Singh said: “We cannot stop anyone [from attending] but no one from FedEx was invited to speak.”
indica News asked a family member of a victim of the shooting if they had any demands from FedEx. “No demand, but they did not provide proper safety,” the family member said. “The kids miss their mother. Can FedEx bring back our lost family?”
The National Compassion Fund started by FedEx on Gofundme to help the victims’ families has raised $1,496,140 out of the target amount of $2,500,000.
Last week, the Sikh Coalition urged the Indianapolis police and the FBI to investigate if the April 15 massacre was a white supremacist hate crime
(This article has been updated with FedEx’s response).