INDIANAPOLIS — Three members of the Sikh community now plan to sue the city of Indianapolis for $2.1 million for damages following the deadly mass shooting at a FedEx facility in April, that left eight people dead.
The filing seeks compensation from the city for failure to file a red flag case against the shooter.
Indiana’s “red flag law” allows police or courts to seize guns from people who may commit violent acts. It became law in 2005 after the death of Indianapolis police officer Jake Laird by a man whose weapons had been returned even though the individual had mental health issues.
In March 2020, Brandon Hole’s shotgun was confiscated after Hole’s mom called police because of concerns about her son’s mental instability. Sheila Hole told FOX59, Brandon had threatened suicide many times and said he wanted to die from suicide by cop. But ultimately, prosecutors did not file a petition with the court to determine if Hole was an ongoing threat, which would have banned him from buying more guns.
The shooter’s mother told FOX59’s Angela Ganote she believes the concerns that led police to seize Brandon’s gun, should have kept him from being able to buy more guns in the future.
The potential claimants accuse IMPD and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office of violating that requirement in Indiana’s Red Flag Law when they decided not to file a case with the courts to suspend Brandon Hole’s gun rights in March of 2020.
The tort claims IMPD failed to submit an affidavit after Hole’s firearm was taken and that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office did not petition for a hearing, “denying the court an opportunity to review the affidavit and conduct a subsequent hearing to determine whether Mr. Hole should be temporarily denied access to his firearm and/or prohibited from purchasing or possessing another firearm for the duration of the protective order, as it was required by law.”
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in April, that because the shooter surrendered his gun, there wasn’t a reason to pursue the case further.
The shooter then legally bough two assault rifles month later, which he used to kill eight former coworkers.
In the letter, dated October 12th, from the victims’ lawyers to city attorneys shows each of the three filing the suit are requesting $700,000 from the city for damages.
Four members of the Sikh community, Amarjit Sekhon, Jasvinder Kaur, Amarjeet Kaur and Jaswinder Singh Bains, died in the shooting. Several more people who survived the shooting are also members of Sikh faith.
FOX59 reached out to the legal team handling the filing for the Sikh community members, who provided the below statement.
“We are statutorily required to provide adequate notice to the City of Indianapolis and Marion County within a certain time period to protect our clients’ rights if they decide to move forward with a lawsuit related to last April’s tragedy. Accordingly, we submitted this notice of claims last month to meet that obligation. We remain in close conversation with our clients about their injuries and ongoing needs as we continue to chart the course forward and work on these matters.”Winston & Strawn and the Sikh Coalition
The letter sent to the city attorneys serves as a tort claim notice, the first step toward a formal lawsuit.