Four Sikhs have been identified among the eight killed in the Fed Ex mass shooting overnight in Indianapolis, reported the Indy Star.
The Sikh Coalition issued a statement on Twitter expressing their sorrow about the news.
“Our hearts and prayers are with their families, and we are in touch with sangat leaders, government and law enforcement officials to learn more.
“We expect that authorities will conduct a full investigation-including the possibility of bias as a factor,” the statement concluded.
All eight victims have now been identified, CBS reports.
They are Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66, a mother and grandmother; Jasvinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Skhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19, a sister and daughter; John Weisert, 74; Mathew R Alexander, 32; and Samaria Blackwell, 19.
Johal’s grandson confirmed her death on Twitter.
Authorities are still trying to determine whether gunman Brandon Scott Hole, who killed himself, targeted workers for their religious beliefs, according to the Indy Star.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus called for a full investigation.
“While we don’t yet know the motive of the shooter, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees, and the attack is traumatic for our community as we continue to face senseless violence,” the coalition’s executive director said in the statement.
South Asian Americans expressed their grief, anger and frustrations on social media.
Authorities say Hole first came to their attention last year when the parents of the 19 year old notified the authorities that he might try to kill himself by “suicide by cop.”
“A shotgun was seized at his residence. Based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020. No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism ideology was identified during the course of the assessment and no criminal violation was found. The shotgun was not returned to the suspect,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan to the Indy Star.
An estimated 500,000 Sikhs live in the United States, reports Reuters. Most of the world’s 25 million Sikhs live in the Northern Indian state of Punjab.
Sikhs wear turbans and have been mistaken as Muslims in the United States. They were the target of frequent hate crimes after 9/11 due to their appearance.
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