Extending condolences to the bereaved families and friends of the victims of the recent shooting in the US state of Indiana, an American lawmaker has honoured four Sikhs who lost their lives in the violence. The four Sikhs, including three women, were among eight people who were killed last month in the mass shooting at a FedEx facility, staffed by a large number of Indian-American employees, in Indianapolis.
Madam Speaker, I rise today to honour eight Hoosier lives lost at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis. I joined my fellow Indiana delegation members in leading our colleagues in a moment of silence on the house floor in their honour on April 21, 2021, Congresswoman Victoria Spartz said in her House remarks last week. Of the eight lives lost, four of those individuals belonged to the Sikh community in central Indiana. This community is small and tight knit. They are friends and colleagues who work together and worship together. The loss this community is feeling in the wake of this tragedy is unimaginable, she said.
The four Sikh community members who lost their lives are Amarjeet Kaur Johal (66); Jasvinder Kaur (64); Amarjit Sekhon (48); and Jaswinder Singh (68). "I stand with the Sikh community and all those affected by this senseless act of violence, Spartz said.
"My deepest condolences are with all the families and friends who are experiencing unimaginable pain and loss. Our state and Nation mourn with them, said the Congresswoman from Indiana. The gunman, identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole, was a former employee of the facility. He was last employed by FedEx in 2020. He allegedly died by suicide after the shooting.
It was the worst Sikh massacre in the US after the Oak Creek Gurdwara mass shooting in Wisconsin on August 5, 2012, where seven members of the community were killed. About 90 per cent of the workers at the FedEx delivery service facility are said to be Indian-Americans, mostly from the Sikh community.
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting yet. It is unclear if the shooter was targeting Sikhs. While the motive for the rampage remains under investigation, leaders and members of the Sikh community say they feel a collective trauma and believe more must be done to combat the bigotry, bias and violence they have suffered for decades in the US.
A monotheistic faith founded more than 500 years ago in India's Punjab region, Sikhism is the world's fifth-largest religion with about 25 million followers, including about 500,000 in the United States.