Eight people have been shot dead in a late-night attack at a FedEx parcel delivery facility in Indianapolis before the gunman shot himself.
Several other people were injured late on Thursday night when gunfire erupted at the facility near the Indianapolis International Airport, police spokesperson Genae Cook said early on Friday.
At least four were hospitalised, including one person with critical injuries. Another two people were treated and released at the scene, she said.
The shooter wasn’t immediately identified, and investigators were in the process of conducting interviews and gathering information. Cook said it was too early to tell whether the shooter was an employee at the facility.
“We’re still trying to ascertain the exact reason and cause for this incident,” she said.
It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the US. Last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
America’s epidemic of gun violence
It was at least the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis alone. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March.
Police said the alleged shooter “has taken his own life.”
Police later confirmed a man armed with multiple guns opened fire inside and outside the depot. A further seven were taken to hospital – although there were multiple media reports of a much higher injury toll.
A witness who said he works at the facility told WISH-TV that he saw a man with a gun after hearing several gunshots.
“I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort, an automatic rifle, and he was firing in the open,” Jeremiah Miller said.
Another witness told local TV network WTHR that he heard gunshots while working inside the building – and looked up to see the gunman. He said he ducked after hearing several more shots.
The witness then ran out of the building, telling the network he saw one person on the ground as he did so.
Motive a mystery
A local journalist spoke to a man who said his niece was in her four-wheel-drive at a service station near the FedEx base when the gunman fired. She was shot in the shoulder, but is expected to recover.
Live video from news outlets at the scene showed crime scene tape in the parking lot outside the facility.
“We are aware of the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport. Safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected,” FedEx said.
“We are working to gather more information and are cooperating with investigating authorities.”
Indianapolis State Police Sergeant John Perrine said in a tweet that police planned to make a statement to news outlets at a nearby hotel.
In recent weeks, there have been numerous mass shootings across the US, including at a cabinet maker’s warehouse in Bryan, Texas, at Atlanta massage businesses and the Colorado grocery shop shooting in March.
Together, they have killed nearly 300 people and injured more than 500.
After two deadly shootings within hours of each other last Thursday, President Joe Biden unveiled six executive orders to try to deal with the “epidemic” of gun violence in the US.
“Every day in this country 315 people are shot – every day,” he said.
“This is an epidemic, for God’s sake. And it has to stop.”