Apr 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

 Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 16
Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.

The big picture: Eight people died in Thursday night's shooting, including four members of the Indianapolis Sikh community, before the shooter killed himself.

What they're saying: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor said the later purchases indicated authorities hadn't deemed Hole subject to Indiana's "red flag" legislation, which prevents people from possessing a firearm if a judge finds them to be a "dangerous risk," per the New York Times.

  • Taylor told the Times he wasn't sure if there was a hearing over the March incident despite police not returning the seized gun.
  • "I don’t know how we held onto it, but it's good that we did," Taylor added, noting Hole then legally purchased "a much more powerful weapon than a shotgun."

For the record: Any gun ban Hole might have faced would've likely lapsed last month as such a legal ruling is only effective for one year under Indiana law, the NYT notes.

  • Authorities would have had to go back to court and demonstrate that Hole was still a danger.

Background: Indiana is one of several states to have adopted "red flag" gun laws since a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

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