INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Sikh community is calling for a thorough investigation to find out why the 19-year-old, former FedEx employee who fatally shot eight people at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport chose that night and that time to open fire. They are not calling this a hate crime, but a crime against humanity.
Celebrated Sikh artist and Indianapolis resident KP Singh attends a Sikh temple on the far southwest side of Indianapolis. It’s a temple he shares with many of the families who lost loved ones Thursday night.
“These people will not be able to give what they were supposed to give because they were taken away from us. It is our job to expand their dream, learn about their dreams from their children and their families,” said Singh.
Narinder Johal lost his mother, 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal. The loss and pain is almost more than he can take.
“We lost the most important person in our family, and I want to say she was the most lovable person in our whole family,” said Johal.
Johal says the shooting is not one of hate, but of ignorance. He says his mother showed only love to everyone she met.
“It is God’s will, she is my soul,” said Johal.
Through a translator, Gurinder Bains talked about his father, Jaswinder Singh, who had just started at FedEx and hadn’t yet collected his first check.
“He was a gentleman, always loved his kids and walking and the whole community loved him. He just started a week ago and he was really excited. I asked him, ‘You don’t need to work.’ He said, ‘I can’t stay at home, I need to go and do some work,’” said Bains.
The leadership of the Sikh community is preparing a broader statement to explain their vision of what happened. They are seeking understanding about the heinous act that took a disproportionate number of people from their community.
“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 and resulting backlash, it is impossible not to feel that same hate and targeting at this moment,” said an unnamed member of the temple.
The Sikh community is holding a special service for their members lost in this shooting on Sunday morning.