Following the shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on Thursday—which left eight people dead, including at least four of Sikh descent—the Sikh Coalition is calling for an investigation into possible hate bias against people who practice the religion as a possible cause for suspect Brandon Scott Hole’s motives.
The organization offered condolences to the families of the four Sikh victims who were killed in the tragedy.
“We are still working to identify others who were injured and killed on Thursday night. I have several family members who work at the particular facility and are traumatized. My nani, my family, and our families should not feel unsafe at work, at their place of worship, or anywhere. Enough is enough–our community has been through enough trauma,” a family member of one of the victims said in a press release.
The Sikh Coalition noted that little is known about what Hole’s motives may have been, also noting that he’d been fired from the company days before. Still, it said that it expects a full investigation will uncover his motive “including the possibility of bias as a factor.”
In a statement, Sikh Coalition executive director Satjeet Kaur implied that the shooter may have displayed anti-Sikh bias as the facility he attacked was known to have many Sikh workers.
“While we don’t yet know the motive of the shooter, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees,” Kaur said. “[T]he attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence. Further traumatizing is the reality that many of these community members, like Sikhs we have worked with in the past, will eventually have to return to the place where their lives were almost taken from them.”
In an emailed statement to Newsweek, Sikh Coalition legal director Amrith Kaur noted that the motives were still being investigated, but that the organization has seen violence against Sikhs many times throughout its history.
“To be clear, at this time, whether bias was a motivating factor in this horrific attack is still under investigation and has not yet been announced,” Kaur said. “However, in the 20 years since our organization was founded, we have seen Sikhs face hate-motivated violence time and again. Because this facility was known in Indianapolis for being a workplace with many Sikhs employees and the shooter’s propensity for violence as was shared with law enforcement previously, it is critical that law enforcement consider that fact in their investigation–which we trust will be thorough and complete, as the city of Indianapolis deserves.”
As previously reported, the Thursday shooting left eight people dead and many others injured, including five who were taken to local hospitals for gunshot wound treatments.
In a statement Friday, FedEx mourned the loss of the eight victims, whose ages ranged from 19 to 74-years-old. The company also said it was keeping the injured employees in their thoughts and prayers.