Sikh group wants probe of gunman’s possible supremacist link

Keywords Crime / Diversity Groups / Law
Dozens gathered for a vigil at Krannert Park on the city's west side to mourn the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx ground shipping facility on April 15. (IBJ photo/Mickey Shuey)

A Sikh civil rights organization called on law enforcement Tuesday to investigate whether a former FedEx employee who fatally shot eight people—four of them Sikhs—at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis last week had any ties to hate groups.

The Sikh Coalition’s request came a day after Indianapolis police released a report from last year stating that an officer who seized a shotgun from Brandon Scott Hole’s home after his arrest in March 2020 saw what he identified as white supremacist websites on Hole’s computer.

The coalition, which identifies itself as the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the United States, said it has sent letters to law enforcement and state and federal lawmakers “clearly expressing the continuing and urgent need to investigate the possibility of a bias motivation” in last Thursday’s mass shooting.

Hole was arrested last year at his family’s home after his mother told police her son might commit “suicide by cop.” A prosecutor said Monday that after his arrest, Hole never appeared before a judge under Indiana’s “red flag” law, which allows police or courts to seize guns from people who show warning signs of violence.

Hole, 19, used two rifles to kill eight FedEx workers and wound several others inside and outside the facility and then fatally shot himself before police entered the building, authorities have said.

A police report from Hole’s March 2020 arrest states that he became anxious while being handcuffed and asked his arresting officers to cut the power to his computer, saying, “I don’t want anyone to see what’s on it.” The report adds that while securing the shotgun, an officer saw “what through his training and experience” were white supremacist websites on the computer.

“A complete and thorough investigation—including determining the motives behind this attack and any connection Mr. Hole has to hate and white supremacy groups—is essential to providing justice and building trust between the Sikh community and local and federal law enforcement,” the Sikh Coalition’s legal director, Amrith Kaur, said in Tuesday’s statement.

Kaur added that the police report released Monday stood in “stark contrast” to a statement a day after the shooting from Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office. At that time, Keenan said the FBI had interviewed Hole after last year’s arrest, “based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time” by Indianapolis police. He did not say what items were found, but said agents who interviewed Hole in April 2020 found no evidence of a crime and did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology.

On Tuesday, Keenan said that “no probable cause was found to initiate any type of legal federal process” against Hole, adding that, “The FBI takes great care to distinguish between constitutionally protected activities and illegal activities undertaken to further an ideological agenda.”

In response to the Sikh Coalition’s comments, he said that the FBI is “not ruling out any motive at this time, including one based on hate/bias.” He said the agency “will be meticulous and thorough in our investigation and devote as much time as needed to find answers for the victims’ families.”

Indianapolis police said in a news release Monday that FedEx fired Hole in October 2020 when he failed to return to work at a facility on the city’s southwest side. Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor said Friday that 90% of the facility’s workers are members of the local Sikh community.

Last week’s shooting was the deadliest outbreak of violence collectively in the United States’ Sikh community since 2012, when a white supremacist burst into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and shot 10 people, killing seven.

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12 thoughts on “Sikh group wants probe of gunman’s possible supremacist link

    1. What are you talking about? You, I, and everyone else have no idea what groups he did or didn’t belong to because there is an ongoing investigation.

    2. They are already aware he frequented white supremacist websites. Does that seem normal to you?

    3. Theirs no reason not to investigate his ties and interests to determine his motives. This should be happening regardless of the people it affected. Maybe it’s nothing and maybe he had it out for Sikh’s. They can certainly find out and should.

    4. Wesley if you read other news sites you will find that he belonged to a “my little pony” group that is supposedly a white supremacist group. You can find out more news by reading papers from other countries than you can the US papers

  1. Investigation not complete so we don’t know about the motive except he wanted suicide by cop. I have many Sikhs as customers and I like them a lot. Observation: 90% of FedEx Trucking workers are Sikh and 10% are white. 4 Sikhs (50%) and 4 whites (50%) were murdered. Looks like he went out of his way to kill whites. Media focus on race to get eyes and clicks.

    1. Ed theirs’s no doubt that when this story first came out the media was chomping at the bit to report it as a white supremacist event. I even imagined that some probably did, but I never looked. I totally agree that that the media is trying to get us to hate one another. Having said that the Sikh group wanting a probe is perfectly fine and should be investigated. My problem is with the media at large and their obsession with race and wanting to make white America the problem and the enemy. Hopefully people in their everyday interactions with each other are not buying what their selling. People are unique individuals and that’s what I see everyday.

    2. So there are no blacks that work at FedEx Ground? Your use of stats here is pointless. No way that place should have that lack of security considering so many that work there could be mistaken for “Muslims”. FedEx has to share in the blame, what are they running over there, Mayberry?

  2. I wish someone would probe the prosecutor. Ryan Mears failed to bring this “Red Flag” case in front of a judge (and is now blaming the system). Not the first time he has failed to prosecute or pursue a case where the person later ended up committing an even more violent and heinous crime.

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