The gunman in the FedEx mass shooting was able to buy 2 rifles after police took away his shotgun last year

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Indianapolis FedEx shooting
Law enforcement confer at the scene, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Indianapolis, where multiple people were shot at a FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The gunman in the Indianapolis FedEx shooting legally bought two rifles after police had taken away his shotgun in March 2020, The New York Times reported.

Police said Brandon Hole, 19, who shot and killed eight people at an Indianapolis FedEx facility on Thursday, legally purchased the firearms a couple of months after his shotgun was confiscated because his mother called and voiced worry over his mental state.

Hole purchased two assault-style rifles that were used in the FedEx shooting in July and September of last year.

In March of last year, Hole's mother warned the FBI about him.

"The suspect's mother contacted law enforcement to report he might try to commit 'suicide by cop,'" special agent Paul Keenan of the FBI's Indianapolis field office said. This situation is when an individual will provoke law enforcement to shoot them to defend themselves or civilians.

The FBI interviewed him a month later in April 2020. Keenan said they did not find that Hole possessed "Racially Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE) ideology."

However, despite his mom's warning and the confiscation of his shotgun, he was deemed to be subject to the state's red flag law, where a judge determines if someone is a dangerous risk and bars them from being able to own a firearm.

Authorities would have two weeks after confiscating someone's gun to present a case to a judge on whether or not that person should be able to have a gun for any period of time. If a judge were to rule that someone was unfit to own guns, the seizure would stand only for up to a year.

Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor told The Times he wasn't sure if that sort of hearing even took place last year but police never gave him back the gun they took away.

Taylor added the purchases of the two rifles would have only been possible if no red flag was made. It's unclear if a judge ever ruled on a red flag case against Hole or if prosecutors even presented a case, The Times reported.

Hole was a former employee of the FedEx location but no motive for the shooting has been determined.

Police on Friday identified the victims as 32-year-old Matthew R. Alexander, 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell, 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal, 64-year-old Jaswinder Kaur, 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh, 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon, 19-year-old Karlie Smith, and 74-year-old John Weisert. At least four of the victims were members of the Sikh community.

Several others were injured.

On Saturday, Hole's family issued an apology to the victims and told The IndyStar they tried to get him help.

"We are devastated at the loss of life caused as a result of Brandon's actions; through the love of his family, we tried to get him the help he needed," the statement reads. "Our sincerest and most heartfelt apologies go out to the victims of this senseless tragedy. We are so sorry for the pain and hurt being felt by their families and the entire Indianapolis community."

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