16 April 2021

Back to Normal

In yet another indication that we are returning to a post-pandemic new normal, a mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx warehouse has killed at least 8 people

The situation was made even worse because FedEx has a policy of requiring employees to turn over their cell phones at the beginning of a shift, which means that loved ones could not contact them, and they could not call the police.

Officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department identified the eight victims of the mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis on Friday night, more than 20 hours after the gunman opened fire on Thursday.

Families of people who worked at the warehouse were gathered at a hotel in the hours after the shooting, waiting for news. FedEx employees are not allowed to use their phones on the floor of the warehouse, complicating the reuniting of employees and their loved ones.

The victims were identified by the police as 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. Some family members of victims who were Sikh provided different spellings and ages: Jasvinder Kaur, 50; Amarjit Sekhon, 49; and Jaswinder Singh, 70.

Officials said the gunman, a 19-year-old, was a former employee of the company whose mother had warned law enforcement officials last year that he might try to attempt “suicide by cop.” An F.B.I. special agent confirmed that the gunman had been interviewed by federal agents in April 2020, and that he was put on an “immediate detention mental health temporary hold.”

He was not charged with a crime, and the agent said that a shotgun was not returned to him.


The violence in Indianapolis comes only weeks after mass shootings last month at spas in the Atlanta area and at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., renewing pressure on lawmakers in Washington to address America’s deep-seated problem with gun violence.

Officials used a common word — “another” — to define the tragedy.


The atmosphere was fraught at a nearby hotel on Friday as families of workers at the facility waited for word about loved ones, many of whom were not allowed to have their cellphones at work.

(emphasis mine

There are many things that I missed from the before times: Restaurants, movie theaters, bars, and theater immediately come to mind.

There are also things that I really do not miss, in person meetings, commuting, and especially mass shootings.

At the very least, I had hoped that the pace of mass shootings would not return to their pre-pandemic levels so quickly.


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