The families of five of the eight people killed in a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis last year have filed a lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful death and negligence.
According to the lawsuit filed Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the plaintiffs claim FedEx could have prevented the incident, and failed to have adequate security measures in place, including properly trained security personnel.
The “Defendants had a duty to ensure appropriate and reasonable policies, procedures, guidelines and training were in place to warn, and then initiate reasonable measures to protect employees and others lawfully on the premises from a dangerous condition or situation, including an active shooter, on the premises,” the suit says.
Eight people were killed and multiple others injured when former employee Brandon Hole, 19, opened fire at a FedEx Ground facility around 11 p.m. on April 15, 2021, police said. Hole then killed himself, officials said.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation in the form of unspecified damages and a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.
“During his (Hole’s) employment by FedEx Ground from approximately August, 2020 through October, 2020, Hole exhibited emotional and mental instability on multiple instances that would cause an ordinary, reasonable person or employer to believe that Hole was potentially violent and/or dangerous to himself and others,” the lawsuit says.
In a statement, FedEx told CNN it was aware of the lawsuit and would review the allegations.
“We continue to mourn the loss of our team members in the senseless tragedy that occurred nearly one year ago,” the statement read.
“FedEx Ground’s top priority is the safety of our team, and we have provided and continue to offer support in multiple ways to those affected, including employee assistance programs that are available 24/7, as well as the establishment of the Indianapolis 4/15 Survivors Fund in coordination with the National Compassion Fund.”
Securitas Security Services USA, a security company hired by FedEx, according to the lawsuit, is also named in the claim.
The suit claims FedEx and Securitas were aware of similar active shooter events that happened at other facilities and had not properly trained its security guards to deal with the threat.
The suit alleges that Securitas and its security officers failed to secure entrances to the building when Hole first came into contact with them, after he could be observed walking from his car and discharging his firearm.
In response to CNN’s request for comment, a company spokesperson said Securitas USA does not comment on pending litigation.
Shooter not a disgruntled employee, investigators said
In July last year, representatives from the police, FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said their investigation found it did not appear Hole was a disgruntled former employee or that he had been motivated by bias or a desire to advance an ideology.
According to John Childress, then-acting US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, the shooter was motivated by “a desire to commit murder-suicide exacerbated by personal mental health issues.”
No evidence was found to indicate Hole was disgruntled at work, according to Craig McCartt, deputy chief of investigations for the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.
“There was really no indication that he had any issue with FedEx, in talking with other employees and FedEx personnel,” said McCartt. “He simply stopped showing up for work, so he lost his job simply by failing to show.”
“Only the shooter knows all the reasons why he committed this horrific act of violence,” said Paul Keenan, special agent in charge for the FBI’s Indianapolis office.
“However, at this time, the FBI is confident that based on the evidence collected, the assessment of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is accurate, and the shooter did not appear to be motivated by bias or a desire to advance an ideology,” Keenan said.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana State Police, the FBI, the Office of the Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were all involved in the investigation, Indianapolis police said.