Eight people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis late Thursday before killing himself, according to police.
Four others who were shot and another who was injured were taken to hospitals, officials said, adding that some may have been privately transported to medical facilities.
No law enforcement officers were hurt in the shooting carried out by a former employee who last worked at the facility in the fall, authorities said Friday afternoon.
A motive for the attack wasn’t immediately clear, but a year ago, the shooter’s mother said she feared he might be suicidal.
“In March 2020, the suspect’s mother contacted law enforcement to report he might try to” attempt “suicide by cop,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, who runs the bureau’s Indianapolis field office.
The phrase “suicide by cop” refers to a self-destructive person who intentionally draws the attention of police in hopes of a deadly confrontation.
“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 (RMVE) ideology was identified during the course of the assessment and no criminal violation was found,” the statement said. “The shotgun was not returned to the suspect.”
Law enforcement officials identified him as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole.
The shooting was reported shortly after 11 p.m. ET and officers arrived to an active shooter incident, according to police.
“This suspect came to the facility, and when he came there he got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility,” Craig McCartt, deputy chief of criminal investigations for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said during a news conference Friday morning.
McCartt said the initial investigation shows there was no disturbance or argument that preceded the shooting, which lasted about two minutes.
The suspected gunman killed himself shortly before police arrived, he said, adding that investigators believe he had a rifle.
Four bodies were found outside the facility, and four more were found inside, McCartt said.
Police said Friday evening that Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74, were killed in the shooting.
FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith said the eight killed were company employees.
“This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel,” he said in a statement.
“I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and co-workers of those team members,” he said, adding that counselors were on site at the facility to provide support.
A FedEx employee told NBC’s “TODAY” show that he was sitting outside the building when he heard what he initially thought was a car with engine problems. He soon realized the sound was actually gunfire.
“And when I stand up, I see a man — a hooded figure — I was unable to see his face in detail however,” Levi Miller said.
He said the man had a rifle “and he started shouting, and then he started firing in random directions.” He couldn’t tell what the gunman was yelling. “I thought he saw me and so I immediately ducked for cover,” Miller said.
Family members were waiting at a nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel early Friday to hear if their loved ones were safe while police chaplains provided support, WTHR photojournalist Joe Fenton tweeted.
McCartt said there was some frustration in connecting family members with survivors because employees did not have their cellphones on them as they fled the building.
FedEx said in a statement that “to minimize potential distractions around package sortation equipment and dock operations, cellphone access within certain areas of FedEx Ground field operations is limited to authorized team members.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett offered prayers to “the families of those whose lives were cut short” and thanked the “city’s first responders for their tireless work overnight.”
“Their quick response provided critical aid to those injured in the shooting and brought a measure of calm to an otherwise chaotic scene,” he said in a tweet.
“What we are left with this morning is grief — grief for the families of those killed, grief for the employees who have lost their co-workers, grief for the many Americans struggling to understand how tragedies like this continue to occur again and again,” Hogsett said Friday morning.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.
“This is another heartbreaking day, and I’m shaken by the mass shooting at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis,” he said in a statement. “In times like this, words like justice and sorrow fall short in response for those senselessly taken.”
U.S. Rep. André Carson, D-Indiana, whose district includes Indianapolis, said that he was devastated by the incident.
“I am heartbroken by the mass shooting at the FedEx facility here in Indianapolis and praying for all affected by this tragedy,” he said on Twitter.
There have been several mass shootings in the United States in recent weeks, including an April 8 shooting at a cabinet company facility in Bryan, Texas, that left one person dead and five others wounded.
This is the third high-profile shooting this year in Indianapolis.
In January, five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot dead in the city’s northeast side. And in March, a man fatally shot three adults and a child at a home in a dispute over a stimulus check, police said.
President Joe Biden also ordered flags be lowered to half-staff.
“Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” Biden said in a statement.
The shooting “is just the latest in a string of tragedies, following closely after gunmen firing bullets in broad daylight at spas in and around Atlanta, Georgia, a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and so many other shootings,” he said.
Last week, Biden announced a series of executive actions aimed at tackling what he called a national “epidemic.”
“Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act,” he said Friday.
His proposals, which are likely to face legal hurdles, are aimed at reducing mass shootings, suicides and domestic violence.
They aim to limit so-called “ghost guns,” which can be assembled at home without traceable serial numbers, and make it easier for relatives to flag family members who shouldn’t be allowed to buy firearms.
Biden is also seeking to reduce access to stabilizing braces, which can effectively turn a pistol into a more lethal rifle while not being subject to the same regulations that a rifle of similar size would be.
Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday: “Yet again we have families in America that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence. There is no question this violence must end and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.
Gun violence, in general, has skyrocketed in recent years.
The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that tracks gun violence in the U.S., found that more than 19,000 people died in gun homicides last year. This was the the highest yearly figure in more than two decades, up by nearly 25 percent from 2019.
Young Adults in the UK Open to Bible Ban
UK– A recent study in the United Kingdom found that nearly a quarter of young Brits are open to banning the Bible, agreeing with a ban on books containing perceived hate speech.
A polling group called Whitestone Insights recently surveyed 2,000+ adults, asking if they agreed with the following statement: “Unless the offending parts can be edited out, books containing what some perceive as hate speech should be banned from general sale, including if necessary religious texts such as the Bible.”
Whitestone found that young Brits, ages 18 to 34, were most likely to agree with this statement, amounting to 23% of participants. Middle-aged Brits, ages 35 to 54, were the second highest group at 17%, followed by Brits over age 55, who made up 13% of survey participants.
The results tell of a deeper social belief in the U.K. that Christian views should be censored – and it is a belief that has plagued all of Europe.
Last year, an American street preacher was arrested in England for preaching the Bible. A woman was also arrested for silently praying outside of an abortion clinic – and in neighboring Finland, Paivi Räsänen, a member of the Finish parliament, faced charges of hate speech after sharing her religious beliefs on social media.
These cases, along with the recent poll, are a concerning reminder of the declining state of religious freedom occurring in Western democracies around the world.
‘God Keeps Doing It!!’: Thousands Turn To Jesus At #2 Us Party School, Hundreds Get Baptized In Fountain
Florida — New York Times best-selling Christian author and founder of IF:Gathering Jennie Allen is reporting once again that the Spirit of God is moving in the hearts of thousands of college students, this time at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
In a post to Instagram and Facebook on Friday, she shared a photo of a student who had just been baptized in the university’s Westcott Fountain on Thursday night.
“It’s happening again! FSU Baptisms! Hundreds maybe a thousand students came forward to trust Jesus. We can’t explain what’s happening apart from the Spirit,” she wrote.
In a second post, Allen shared a video showing hundreds of FSU students gathered around the fountain, singing and praising God.
“4,500 Florida State University (one of the biggest party schools in the nation) students confessed struggles and sin tonight. Hundreds came forward to trust Christ. And this is them singing and dancing as they head to spontaneous baptisms,” she wrote in text over the video of the students.
Along with the video clip, she explained, “God keeps doing it!! They confessed their sin. They came forward in droves tonight to trust Jesus. We baptized hundreds in a fountain usually used for partying and worse. And it’s all just the beginning. It literally is everywhere I go right now. Revival is here. And there is no explaining it—when it’s God! #FSU #baptisms.”
FSU is reportedly the top “party school” in the state and is the second-biggest so-called “party school” in the country, according to the website Niche that has more than a half million reviews submitted by college and university students in the US.
One user responded, “My daughter is there! She says it’s been incredible. They are hungry. And not in just a swept up in the moment way.”
Another user wrote, “My daughter was one of the students who was baptized in the fountain that night after the conference! Praise God!!!”
One person asked what follow-up was being done by local churches to help the students grow in their new spiritual journey. A few users responded that the students who were baptized are being connected with area churches, who will follow up with them individually.
A student also replied, “Hello! I was one of the students there last night! One thing I thought was BEAUTIFUL about Unite was the emphasis on FINDING A CHURCH HOME! They had tables outside with college groups from many local churches and asked everyone to fill out information to get connected! We want these souls on fire to get plugged in.”
The impromptu baptisms were the result of a free worship event titled Unite FSU that was held on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the university’s Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Jonathan “JP” Pokluda, the lead pastor of the Harris Creek Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, and Allen were the featured speakers. Unite is a movement of college students united to lift the name of Jesus, according to the organization’s website.
Allen has released a new Bible study curriculum titled Untangle Your Emotions: Discover How God Made You to Feel.
Hosted by the author, the study is conducted in six sessions with video streaming access. Allen “helps you discover that emotions that are submitted to God and used for the purposes God intends connect us to each other and to Him. You’ll learn to notice, name, and process your emotions in healthy ways,” according to the study’s website. “God made us to feel our emotions, to examine and share them—not manage or suppress them. We can learn what it means to live emotionally-healthy lives from studying Jesus’ life and how He cared for and responded to the people around Him.”
In addition, Allen’s IF Gathering is marking a 10-year celebration on Feb. 23-24 with an event at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
As CBN News reported, she was also a featured speaker at the JWLKRS (Jesus-Walkers) Conference that was held Sept. 29-30 in Orlando, Florida.
SEPTEMBER 2023 ‘A Revival Is Happening’: Hundreds Choose Christ at Auburn, Get Spontaneously Baptized in a Lake
Thousands of young people gathered together to worship Jesus, pray, and have their faith encouraged at the event held at Calvary Orlando.
The gathering focused on helping Millennials and Gen Z understand how their “unique talents, traits, and passions serve a vital purpose.”
Allen shared on Instagram at the time that she witnessed hundreds of people come up to the altar after praying and inviting them to have a relationship with Jesus.
She was also involved in Unite Auburn’s “Night of Worship” event at Auburn University in Alabama, earlier that same month where roughly 200 students were spontaneously baptized.
She credited prayer and the support of the local churches around Auburn for ushering in this movement of the Lord at Auburn University.
“It was such a move of God,” Allen told CBN News. “I’ve been a part of moments like that in the past, specifically with Gen Z, and I want to say that because there is something very special happening right now, I believe, in their hearts. I think they are, they are hungry for God and they want God in a very real way. This is not manufactured.”
She had the same to say about the Jesus Walkers Conference.
“I’ll keep saying it. They want God,” she wrote.
OCTOBER 2023 ‘They Want God’: Hundreds Come Forward to Give Their Lives to Jesus at JWLKRS Conference
SEPTEMBER 2023: Move of God at Texas A&M Shows ‘No Signs of Slowing Down’ – Hundreds Baptized in Corpus Christi
MARCH 2023 ‘The Lord Is Not Slowing Down’: Revival Flames Spread in Texas and Alabama
FEBRUARY 2023 – Revival Spreads to Texas A&M, Indiana Wesleyan and LSU: ‘It’s Not Religion. It’s Just Meeting JESUS’
Throughout 2023, we at CBN News also reported on additional signs of revival, including multiple mass baptism events all over the country that don’t appear to be slowing down:
* Major Sign of Revival as Greg Laurie, Harvest Christian Fellowship Baptize 4,500 Souls at Pirates Cove
* ‘The Biggest Water Baptism’ in US History? 4,166 Baptized at Historic Beach from Jesus Movement
* Life.Church Reports ‘Revival’ as 2,000 People Get Baptized
* TN MegaChurch Experiences ‘Genuine Move of God’ as 136 Get Spontaneously Baptized
* ‘REVIVAL IS HERE!’ From Beaches to Prisons, Hundreds of Salvations, Baptisms Reported Across US
* ‘Revival to Prisons’: God Behind Bars Reports 130 New Baptisms, Works to Reach 2M Incarcerated
* American Awakening: Hundreds Baptized in Gatlinburg, Revival Breaks Out at Point Loma University
* 72-Hour Revival at Baylor Leads to 20+ Baptisms: ‘A Compelling Invitation to Know Jesus’
* New Reports of Revival, 21 Baptisms at Purdue – Evangelist Chastises Critics, ‘God Is Moving, It’s Just Starting’
Sources:BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS
Joel Osteen Chokes Back Tears, Declares ‘Fear Is Not Going to Win’ After Shooter Attacked Church
One week after a shooter opened fire inside Houston’s Lakewood Church, Pastor Joel Osteen declared “fear is not going to win.”
The suspect, who officials said had a history of mental health issues, died when two off-duty officers returned fire, preventing a potential massacre at the church site.
The shooter’s seven-year-old son, who came with her into the church, was shot and is in critical condition.
On Sunday, in the first services since those horrific events, Osteen prayed for the child and his mother’s family.
“Aren’t you glad that we’re all here today? The goodness of God, the faithfulness of God and, you know, we’re just going to take this whole service just to thank God for what he’s done,” Pastor Osteen told the church.
“We lift up that little seven-year-old boy Samuel that was injured here, Lord, at no fault of his own. Lord, we know you can do what looks impossible even though medical reports don’t look good. Lord, I know he’s in your hands,” he prayed.
“And Lord, I pray for all the family of the deceased and the troubled woman. Lord, we just pray… Lord, I pray for her family. Lord, I know she was troubled in her mind and I know her family’s hurting. Lord, we know you’re in control, so I just pray for comfort for that family and just comfort for all those that are here.”
Osteen described the confusing moments when he learned the shooting was unfolding as he was already back in his office area with other church leaders, not knowing what was going on.
From the stage of Lakewood a week later, he praised God for protecting the church from what could have been an even worse attack. “Look at the goodness of our God, He brought us through,” he said. “You can see the hand of God.”
Chinese Government Cracks Down on Leading Christian Prayer App, Bans It From Download
In China, the Bible is not safe. In fact, even Christian apps are on the chopping block. The latest app...
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