Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Police reportedly saw white supremacist sites on FedEx gunman's computer last year

Photo of a police chief speaking at a public vigil
Randal Taylor, Indianapolis Police chief, gives a speech during a vigil to mourn the eight murdered FedEx Ground employees in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

In a call to the FedEx gunman's house last year, police reported seeing guns and a computer with searches of white supremacist websites, according to recently released information from an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) report.

Why it matters: The 19-year-old gunman killed eight people, half of whom were Sikh, at a FedEx facility last week before dying by a self-inflicted shot. Police have yet to identify a motive.

What happened: Brandon Hole's mother contacted police in March 2020 after he purchased a gun. She told police he was going to point a recently purchased shotgun at police officers so they would shoot him, according to the incident report. 

  • At the Holes' home, officers asked Hole to come downstairs before handcuffing him. "Brandon upon being placed in handcuffs became immediately anxious and stated, 'Please just turn the power strip off on my computer,'" per the incident report.
  • "Officer Humphrey clearing the upstairs and securing the shotgun observed what through his training and experience indicated was white supremacist websites."
  • Hole downplayed any suicidal thoughts or plans but did say he was feeling depressed, IMPD said. Hole later told police he did not want his gun back.
  • Despite his mother's call, Hole never had a so-called "red flag" hearing, which may have prevented him from obtaining the weapons he used in the shooting.

The big picture: The Indianapolis shooting marked the fifth time in eight weeks President Biden ordered flags to fly at half-staff.

  • About 90% of the FedEx facility's employees are members of the local Sikh community, CBS News reports.
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland has warned of a rise in domestic extremism linked to white supremacist and alt-right militia groups.
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