At least eight people were killed in a shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis late Thursday, and the gunman was believed to have taken his own life, reports The New York Times.
Officer Genae Cook of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told reporters Friday morning that there were “multiple people with injuries consistent with gunshot wounds” as a result of the shooting. Eight people died, not including the gunman, she said.
Others had been “transported to various hospitals throughout the area,” Officer Cook added. She said people at the scene were still being interviewed by detectives and may not have had the chance to contact their families.
Officer Cook said the police were still working to identify the shooter and that no law enforcement officers had been injured.
“This is going to go long into the morning,” she added.
Earlier, Officer Cook had asked people who were unable to contact family members who worked at FedEx to gather at a Holiday Inn Express about a mile from the warehouse, adding that representatives of the chaplain’s office of the police department would be there to assist them.
At about 2:45 a.m. on Friday, before the deaths were announced, the mood was sombre at the hotel, as about 110 people anxiously waited for news. FedEx employees are not allowed to use their phones on the floor of the warehouse, so those gathered had not heard from their loved ones.
One of the people in the lobby, Pardeep Sidhu of Plainfield, Ind., said his aunt and uncle worked at the facility and that a friend’s 45-year-old husband had been shot there.
Christina Valor said she had learned about the shooting from the news and driven to the hotel because her sister, Natalie Valor, worked there and had not been in touch.
“We’re hoping for the best,” she said. “But we don’t know anything.”
The FedEx warehouse where the shooting occurred is on the city’s southwest side, near the airport.
“We are aware of the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport,” Jim Masilak, a FedEx spokesman, said in a statement early Friday. “Safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected. We are working to gather more information and are cooperating with investigating authorities.”
Officer Cook told reporters that the police had arrived at the scene just after 11 p.m., responding to a report that shots had been fired. They encountered an “active shooter incident,” she said.
Traffic on a nearby portion of Interstate 70 was briefly closed, Sgt. John Perrine of the Indiana State Police wrote on Twitter.
A reporter with WRTV, an Indianapolis station, posted an interview on Twitter with a man who said he had been at the facility when the shooting broke out and later saw a body on the floor.
WISH, another local station, quoted an employee at the warehouse, Jeremiah Miller, as saying that he had heard up to 10 shots after finishing his shift.
“This made me stand up and actually look out the entrance door, and I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open,” Miller told the station. “I immediately ducked down and got scared and my friend’s mother, she came in and told us to get inside the car.”
There has been a spate of mass shootings across the United States in recent weeks. In mid-March, eight people were shot to death at three massage parlours in the Atlanta area, raising fears that the crimes may have targeted people of Asian descent. Less than a week later, 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.
At the end of March, a gunman killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, at a real estate office in Southern California. In early April, five people, including two children, were killed by a neighbour, who was later identified as a former professional football player.