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FedEx gunman visited white supremacist websites

▶ Watch Video: FedEx shooting puts spotlight on “red flag” laws

The 19-year-old gunman who killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis last week has previously browsed White supremacy websites, according to new details released by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The gunman, Brandon Scott Hole, was a former FedEx employee, who was last employed by the company in 2020, according to police. Among those he killed were four Sikhs. Members of the religion, which began in India in the 15th century, began settling in Indiana more than 50 years ago.

There are between 8,000 and 10,000 Sikh Americans in Indiana, according to the Sikh Coalition. About 90% of the workers at the FedEx facility near the Indianapolis International Airport are members of the local Sikh community, Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor said.

In a report released Tuesday, police described the previous times they responded to Hole’s house, where they found guns and a computer that had been used to search white supremacist websites.

Hole’s mother contacted police in March 2020 because he had purchased a gun and she was worried about his behavior. She said “he was going to point a recently purchased shotgun at police officers so they would shoot him,” according to the incident report. 

When police arrived at the house, officers asked Hole to come downstairs, where they handcuffed him. “Brandon upon being placed in handcuffs became immediately anxious and stated, ‘Please just turn the power strip off on my computer,'” the incident report reads. 

He told officers: “I don’t want anyone to see what’s on it.” Upstairs, one officer found a shotgun “observed what through his training and experience indicated was white supremacist websites.”

The incident report says Hole downplayed any suicidal thoughts or plans but did say he was feeling sad and depressed and would benefit from counseling. He was take to the hospital for assessment and his rifle was taken to a police property. Hole later told investigators he did not want his gun returned.

The report also details other parts of his attack on the FedEx facility, where about 100 employees were working at the time of the incident. Two rifles were recovered at the scene, including a Ruger AR-556, which Hole bought in September 2020. The second gun was a HM Defense HM15F, purchased by Hole in July 2020.

“There is no indication at this time of any modifications made to these guns,” the report reads. “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms completed a trace of the weapons and determined that the guns were purchased legally through authorized dealers.”

The FBI was searching Hole’s home for clues Friday but had still not uncovered a motive.

Even though police seized the shotgun from Hole’s home last year after his mother said he might try to commit “suicide by cop,” Ryan Mears, the top prosecutor for Marion County, said the occurrence wasn’t enough to pursue a warrant from a judge to prevent Hole from purchasing more weapons under the state’s “red flag” law. Mears said the law’s 14-day hold isn’t enough time to investigate potential risks.

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