Eight people were killed and five injured in a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on April 15

By Ally Mauch
April 17, 2021 06:00 PM
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mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis
The site of Thursday's shooting
| Credit: JEFF DEAN/AFP via Getty Images

At least four members of the Sikh Community in Indianapolis were among those killed in Thursday's shooting at a FedEx facility.

Amarjit Sekhon, a mother of two who moved to the United States in 2005, was one of those victims. The 48-year-old, who was remembered as "a hard worker," began working at the FedEx Plainfield Ground facility in November, according to The Indianapolis Star.  

"She was a hard worker and always wanted to work and was always working overtime and asking for overtime shifts," her brother-in-law Kuldip Sekhon told The Washington Post following her death. "She liked to have a good house, have good cars."

Kuldip added that another one of their relatives set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral and medical expenses for "affected families."

Indianapolis
Credit: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

In addition to Sekhon, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department named all eight victims of the mass shooting on Friday, identifying them as Matthew R Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74. 

According to the New York Times, some family members of the deceased provided different ages and spellings for the victims Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Sekhon, 49; and Jaswinder Kaur Singh, 70.

The gunman, before taking his own life, also injured five other victims, whose names will not be released, police said on Friday.

The representatives of eight Indianapolis-area gurdwaras, or Sikh houses of worship, issued a statement on Saturday noting that the community is in mourning following the shooting. 

"Like all of Indianapolis, our community is coming together to grieve and mourn after Thursday night's horrific attack," the statement from the Sikh Coalition began. "Eight people, including four from our community, have been taken from their families, friends, and communities, and others are still injured. We are praying for the families of all  involved, that they may find peace and begin the long path to physical, mental, and spiritual healing."

The statement continued, "We do not yet know the motive of the shooter, and we may never know for sure what drove him to do what he did. We do know, however, that the FedEx facility he targeted was well known for having a large Sikh workforce. Given everything our community has experienced in the past — the pattern of violence, bigotry, and backlash we have faced — it is impossible not to feel that same pain and targeting in this moment. We expect that the authorities will continue their full investigation and share what they learn when they can, and they will take this into account." 

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“Our community is grateful for the messages of love and support coming from around the state, country, and world,” it said. “Now, we must all work together not just to heal, but to take action and confront the terrible plague of hate and acts of mass violence like this that threaten us all. 

The statement, posted to the Sikh Coalition Instagram page, concluded with a quote from one of the victims' grandchildren. "In the words of Komal Chohan, the granddaughter of Amarjeet Jaur Johal: 'Enough is enough. Our community has been through enough trauma,' " the statement said. 

In a separate statement, Chohan also said, "I am heartbroken to confirm that my naniji (maternal grandmother), Amarjeet Kaur Johal, is among those killed in the senseless shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis. 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."

Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with approximately 500,000 adherents in the United States, according to the Sikh Coalition. The shooting comes the week Sikhs are celebrating Vaisakhi, a major holiday festival.

Vigils are scheduled on Saturday in Indianapolis for the eight victims, The Post reported.