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FedEx’s Phone Policy Meant Workers Were Unable to Reach Families After Shooting

Eight people were killed in the Indianapolis shooting. There have been 45 mass shootings in the last month.

Crime scene investigators walk through the parking lot of the mass shooting site at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 16, 2021.

A gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, Thursday evening, killing at least eight individuals.

All eight who were killed were employees of the company. Multiple other individuals were also injured in the shooting and taken to hospitals in the area. The gunman reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

The shooting happened around 11 pm Thursday evening. The shooter’s motives and connection to the facility were not immediately clear. “With less than 12 hours since the shooting, it would be premature to speculate” on what the shooter’s motive was at this time, said Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office.

One witness described the shooter as using an automatic weapon of some kind. It’s believed that the individual was acting alone.

For some time, loved ones of the FedEx workers were unable to find out whether their friends or family members were victims of the shooting, The Indianapolis Star reported, because of a FedEx policy prohibiting employees from carrying cell phones with them at work.

“It is hard because if my friend had a phone, he would be able to contact me right away,” said Jose Lopez, a friend of someone who works at the Indianapolis FedEx facility. “Even if it’s a message with one letter, you know he is living.”

The company has said it is reviewing the policy in the aftermath of the mass shooting that took place on Thursday night.

According to analysis from CNN, which defines a mass shooting as a “shooting incident that results in four or more casualties (dead or wounded),” there have been 45 such shooting events in the U.S. over the past month.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the situation, a source in the Justice Department told ABC News. President Joe Biden was also briefed on the matter on Friday morning, and issued a statement later in the day regarding the tragedy.

Biden ordered the nation’s flags lowered out of remembrance of the victims, noting he had taken the same action very recently for a different mass shooting.

“I have the solemn duty of ordering the flag lowered at half-staff at the White House, public buildings and grounds, and military posts and embassies, just two weeks after I gave the last such order,” Biden said in his statement.