I-Team 8

Police union leader blasts prosecutor for not using ‘red flag’ law on FedEx shooter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The president of the local police union said Thursday that Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department gave the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office everything it needed to put Brandon Hole on a “red flag” list.

Rick Snyder, who leads Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 86, said putting Hole on the “red flag” list would have kept him from buying more guns before he shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility near Indianapolis International Airport on April 15.

Synder said Prosecutor Ryan Mears dropped a very important ball. “Unfortunately, the lack of action by the Marion County prosecutor prevented a court hearing which could have resulted in not only the retention of the firearm in question but also could have prohibited the suspect from owning, renting, receiving transfer of or possessing any other firearms.”

Police say six to eight months after Brandon Hole’s mother called police and surrendered a shotgun, Hole legally bought two rifles that police say he used in the FedEx shooting.

On Monday, Mears said the 14 days allowed under Indiana’s “red flag” law to prepare all the necessary paperwork isn’t enough time.

Snyder said, “Once an officer makes a criminal arrest, probable cause must be established and supporting documentation submitted within 72 hours — that is just three days — yet under the Jake Laird “red flag” law, the prosecutor had nearly five times as many days to submit a sworn affidavit provided to him by police that would allow the state to retain the firearm or firearms in question and seek the prohibition of other firearm possession.”

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday it has filed eight cases under the “red flag” law this year. “I’m not sure how many have been brought to our office,” Mears said Monday.

Snyder said Thursday, “From our research, we found that IMPD had submitted at least 45 referrals to his office, so, if that is correct, that means his office has tried to take full advantage of the ‘red flag’ tool available to them only 18% of the time.”  

The police union questions what happened to the other 37 cases, including the one involving the FedEx shooter, who took his own life.  

“But, one thing we know for sure is 100% of the time they will not be on the ‘red flag’ system if you don’t try and get it and initiate the process,” Synder said. 

The police union says the 14-day window provided by the “red flag” law to get paperwork filled in court speeds up the process to get guns away from dangerous people.