Indianapolis Community Remembers the 8 Victims of FedEx Shooting

Eight people were killed in the shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis, four of whom belonged to the Sikh community.


Thursday’s tragedy, which also left five people injured, marks the latest in a spate of gun violence across the country in which Asian Americans were disproportionately targeted.

Just last month, six Asian women lost their lives in a shooting at three Asian-owned businesses in Atlanta, which also killed a total of eight people.

On Friday, the Sikh Coalition confirmed that four members of its community died in the incident before the Indianapolis Police Department identified all eight victims.

Advertisement

Here’s what we know about the deceased from what their loved ones had to say.

Jaswinder Singh, 70

Singh leaves behind his wife, three sons and grandchildren. His family described him as a happy person and that he loved speaking to people while walking on trails at local parks.

“I didn’t hear him say even one bad word from his mouth in (his) whole life. He loved everyone. Always smiling when he sees you, he had a big smile,” Harjap Singh Dillon, the victim’s sister’s father-in-law, told WRTV.

Singh started working at FedEx because he was bored, his family said. He also wanted to be a part of the community there.

Advertisement

“He’s the person, always, whenever we see him, I don’t see him at any time sad,” Singh Dillion added.

Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66

Johal was killed on her 66th birthday. She moved to the U.S. after the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984 and took a job at FedEx four years ago.

Her grandson, Harmandeep Sidhu, said she was “working a half shift that day (Thursday)” so she could return home early for her granddaughter’s birthday celebration.

She later decided to take her check and go home. She still had it in hand when she was found, Sidhu said.

Advertisement

“I have several family members who work at the particular facility and are traumatized. My nani, my family and our families should not feel unsafe at work, at their place of worship, or anywhere,” her granddaughter, Komal Chohan, told IndyStar. “Enough is enough — our community has been through enough trauma.”

Family members described Johal as a loving grandmother who showered her grandchildren with presents whenever she visited.

Jasvinder Kaur, 50 

Kaur was supposed to make her famous yogurt at a family celebration for her granddaughter’s second birthday on Saturday, according to relative Rimpi Girn.

Kiran Deol, a family friend, referred to Kaur as her aunt. “All she did was think of her sons back in India all the time,” she told The New York Times.

Advertisement

Girn revealed that just days before the tragedy, Kaur had asked her for help in obtaining a driver’s license.

“No more license for her. That’s it. It was just talk. She doesn’t need a license for anything now,” Girn said.

Amarjit Sekhon, 49

Sekhon, who was related to Kaur, leaves two teenage sons with their father who struggles from partial paralysis. She was Girn’s aunt.

Sekhon moved to Indianapolis from Ohio to be closer to family. She and Kaur commuted to work together, Girn said.

Advertisement

Another family member set up a GoFundMe page for Sekhon and the other seven victims. “My aunt Amarjit was an amazing mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and loving friend.  She will be greatly missed, but her memory will live on in our hearts forever,” wrote Gurleen Gill.

As of this writing, the page has raised more than $120,000 of its goal.

Matthew Alexander, 32

Alexander was a linehaul coordinator at the FedEx facility.

“As a dedicated, hard-working employee, Matt was very well respected by his colleagues and anyone who had the pleasure of working with him,” his obituary reads.

Alexander is survived by his parents, sister and other relatives. Loved ones described him as an avid sports enthusiast.

Advertisement

“Hard to remember a time not knowing Matt,” Ryan Wegeng, who grew up with Alexander, told FOX 59. “He was always playing basketball, playing baseball, playing something.”

Samaria Blackwell, 19

Blackwell was a straight-A student who graduated from high school just last year. She was the youngest of four siblings.

“We were blessed by the Lord to have such a fun-loving, caring daughter as the baby of our family,” her parents Jeff and Tammi Blackwell told CNN.

Blackwell was also a soccer and basketball player. She dreamed of becoming a police officer.

Advertisement

“Although that dream has been cut short, we believe that right now she is rejoicing in heaven with her Savior,” her parents added.

Karli Smith, 19

Smith was one of 10 siblings. Family members described her as “bubbly, happy, and always smiling.”

“She was the one who made everybody smile,” Karen Smith told WRTV of her daughter. “She was just goofy and just the life of the party.”

Karen added that her daughter was extremely intuitive and never failed to learn from her mistakes.

Advertisement

Smith’s uncle, Nate Luhrsen, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses. It has raised over $4,000 of its $10,000 goal.

John Weisert, 74

Weisert, a retired engineer, was the oldest of all eight victims of the shooting. He had been working at the FedEx facility for about four-and-a-half years.

His wife, Mary Carol Weisert, started to worry after hours passed by and he was not home yet.

“They get paid on Thursday night. Usually the other days of the week, like Monday to Wednesday and Friday, he’s home maybe 11:30, but sometimes he’s later when they get the paychecks. So, not seeing him at 12:30, 1 o’clock, 1:30…I just panicked,” Mary told WTHR.

Advertisement

After hearing the news, Mary felt horror, fear and shock. “I mean, you know, I don’t know how else to describe it. Actually it bothered me physically. I started shaking like a leaf,” she added.

The 74-year-old was supposed to celebrate 50 years of marriage this fall.

Featured Image via Getty

Total
11
Shares
Related Posts