Police and the FBI have concluded that racial bias played no role in the April 15 mass shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis in which four of the victims were Sikh, and the Sikh Coalition has reacted with dismay.
Brandon Scot Hole, 19, acted alone when he killed eight people including Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66, Jaswinder Kaur, 64, Jaswinder Singh, 68, and Amarjit Sekhon, 48, and injured five others before shooting himself, the investigation found.
“After conducting an exhaustive investigation and review of all evidence — to include digital media — no indication of racial bias was found to have played a part in this horrific tragedy,” said the statement by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI on July 28.
Asked by indica News what Hole’s motive was behind the killings, Genae Cook, spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said: “It’s still undetermined.”
“There is no one to arrest, and the person who did that crime took his own life,” she said on not knowing the motive behind the shooting.
“This man had a mental issue,” Cook said. “Yes, there was a conclusion he did have an undiagnosed mental stressor and he had thought about suicide on a regular basis.”
She added: “The city of Indianapolis, we are a small community. This [shooting] affected everyone in one way or the other…”
According to the FBI and police press statement, the FBI’s Quantico, Virginia-based Behavioral Analysis Unit “assessed the attack was an act of suicidal murder in which the shooter decided to commit suicide in a way he believed would demonstrate his masculinity and capability while fulfilling a final desire to experience killing people.”
He chose FedEx location because he was familiar with it and had found some security flaws, the statement said.
Amrith Kaur, legal director for the Sikh Coalition, told indica News that the investigation left many questions unanswered.
“The description given of the FBI and IMPD’s investigation is that it was exhaustive, but we are less concerned with the time that they took and more disappointed that they still have not explained how they ruled out bias as a possible motivating factor,” Kaur said.
“There are two particular points of interest,” Kaur said. “First, the FBI and IMPD said that the shooter chose the FedEx location from other possible targets on the basis of ‘perceived security flaws,’ but they did not explain how the fact that it was a workplace employing many Punjabi Sikhs and people of color may have factored into his decision or why they seemingly dismissed that fact as being insignificant to their conclusion. Second, there was prior reporting that IMPD officers previously saw ‘white nationalist websites’ on the shooter’s computer; while the FBI stated that there was some World War II and Nazi-related content on his devices, they didn’t explain how that content led them to conclude that bias was not a factor.”
She continued: “We can’t speak to the shooter’s mental health condition,and of course no one can know what was going through his mind during those months. We do think it is important to recognize, however, that bias can be an additional factor on top of mental health or issues with toxic masculinity.”