INDIANAPOLIS — Eight people between the ages of 19 and 74 were killed on Thursday night when a gunman opened fire on a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis.
The victims were identified as:
- 32-year-old Matthew R Alexander
- 19-year-old Samaria Blackwell
- 66-year-old Amarjeet Johal
- 50-year-old Jasvinder Kaur
- 68-year-old Jaswinder Singh
- 48-year-old Amarjit Sekhon
- 19-year-old Karli Smith
- 74-year-old John Weisert
The victims were sons, daughters, grandmothers, husbands, wives, parents and friends. Below are the victims of the mass shooting. But their families say this isn't how they'll be remembered. Instead, they'll be remembered as reliable, kind, "tenacious," and as people who "deserved so much better than this."
Matthew R Alexander
Reliable and kind, that’s how Matthew Alexander's loved ones described him.
Matthew was a former Avon High School baseball player. He was honored Saturday before the opening pitch on Senior Day. There was a moment of silence before his father threw the opening pitch.
"That felt like that was part of Matt," his father Brad Alexander said. "Matt was a pitcher for Avon. He was a shortstop for Avon. I didn't do near as well as he did in the day, but I was there and I knew he was looking down saying thank you dad."
Friends and family said they couldn't think of a more fitting way to honor the diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Matthew loved Christmas and craft beer, so his mom made him a Christmas tree combing the two things he loved most.
"Just hug your kids, tell them you love them," his mother Debbie Alexander said. "You never know when will be the last time you'll see them."
The Avon Community School Corporation released the following statement about Matthew's death:
"The Avon Community School Corporation is deeply saddened that one of the fatalities of the shooting that took place late Thursday evening at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis was Avon High School graduate Matthew Alexander. Alexander was a 2007 graduate and a member of the varsity baseball team. “I had the honor of seeing his family, former teammates, and Oriole fans honor Matt at today’s baseball game,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Wyndham. “Our minds and our hearts are united with the Alexander family and the loved ones of all the victims as they grieve what they have lost and as they face futures that have been forever changed.” To honor Matthew, the AHS athletic department held a moment of silence before today's baseball game in his memory and his father threw out the first pitch."
The family of Samaria Blackwell said she was a fun-loving and caring person.
In a statement, Samaria's parents said they will miss their daughter immensely.
They described her as an athlete who played basketball and soccer. She was also a lifeguard for Indy Parks.
"On the court or the soccer field, she had a tough game face, but that quickly turned to a smile outside of competition," a statement from her family said.
They went onto say she was a straight-A student who loved helping people and dreamed of becoming a police officer.
Blackwell family's statement about her death:
We are thankful for the outpouring of love and support for our family. We are also praying for the families of the other victims of this tragedy. As Samaria’s parents, we were blessed by the Lord to have such a fun-loving, caring daughter as the baby of our family. Being the baby, she looked up to her siblings Elijah, Levi, and Michaiah, who, along with her dog Jasper, will miss her immensely. Samaria was tenacious in everything she did, from playing basketball and soccer to being a lifeguard for Indy Parks. On the court or the soccer field, she had a tough game face, but that quickly turned to a smile outside of competition. Samaria loved people, especially those of advanced age. She always found time to invest in the older generation, whether it was by listening or serving. She spent many hours helping Memaw Sue, from mulching flower beds to setting up Christmas decorations. As an intelligent, straight A student, Samaria could have done anything she chose to put her mind to, and because she loved helping people, she dreamed of becoming a police officer. Although that dream has been cut short, we believe that right now she is rejoicing in heaven with her Savior. Philippians 1:6 says, “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion…” For Samaria, that work is completed and she is sitting with Jesus today. On this side of heaven we grieve, but not as those who have no hope, for we recognize Samaria’s life has only just begun.
The family established a GoFundMe to assist with Samaria's funeral and other expenses.
The following statement is from Indy Parks in response to Blackwell's death:
"The entire Indy Parks team expresses heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Samaria Blackwell, who served with such grace and dedication as a lifeguard and fellow Indy Parks team member. We are saddened to learn of her death and remain grateful for her service at Garfield and Bethel Parks, and most recently, Indy Island Aquatic Center. She kept her colleagues laughing and easily made friends across the department. Samaria was a joy to work with, and her parks family will miss her dearly. We extend our thoughts and prayers to all of the FedEx shooting victims and their families, and hope together as a community, as a parks department, and as a city that we comfort and encourage each other during this time."
Amarji Kaur Johal, 66, was one of four of the victims killed on Thursday night who were members of the Sikh community. Her grandson said she was going to work a double so she could have the day off on Friday but decided to grab her check and go home. She still had her check in her hand when they found her.
“I am heartbroken to confirm that my naniji (maternal grandmother), Amarjeet Kaur Johal, is among those killed in the senseless shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis,” community member Komal Chohan said in a statement from the Sikh Coalition. “We are still working to identify others who were injured and killed on Thursday night. 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. Enough is enough--our community has been through enough trauma.”
Jasvinder Kaur, 50, was one of four members of the Sikh community who were killed in the mass shooting at the FedEx facility.
Jaswinder Singh, 68, was one of four members of the Sikh community who were killed in the mass shooting at the FedEx facility.
Amarjit Sekhon, 48, was a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt and loving friend, a GoFundMe page made by her family said.
"She will be greatly missed, but her memory will live on in our hearts forever," the GoFundMe page organized by Gurleen Gill said.
Amarjit leaves behind two sons and their father, who suffers from paralysis.
"As my family comes together during this difficult time to support the boys and their father, we have created this page with a hope to raise funds and extend financial support for funeral services and medical expenses for all the families affected," Gill said in the GoFundMe page.
All of the proceeds from the GoFundMe page organized by Gill will be used to support the funeral services and medical expenses for all families that were affected by the mass shooting.
Karli Smith, 19, was one of the victims of the mass shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
A GoFundMe page that was established to help her family pay for funeral expenses said she was a "young lady with a bright future being only 19 years old."
Indianapolis Public Schools released a statement on the loss of Smith, saying that she was "a dedicated student" and an athlete.
IPS released the following statement:
"Indianapolis Public Schools is devastated to learn about the loss of Karli Smith by this latest round of gun violence. Karli was a longtime IPS student and graduate. She attended Daniel Webster School 46 through most of elementary and middle school, and Crispus Attucks and George Washington high schools. She graduated in 2020 from George Washington, where she was known as a hardworking and dedicated student. While at Crispus Attucks, she played on the softball team and was loved by her teammates and coaches. She also played basketball and volleyball during middle school at Daniel Webster. Administrators, teachers and classmates remember Karli for her sense of humor that often generated smiles and laughter. Karli was a bright light wherever she went. She will be dearly missed by all throughout IPS who knew and loved her."
John "Steve" Weisert, 74, was a package handler at FedEx and a retired professional engineer.
"After retirement, he wanted to keep working. We had some things we needed to pay off, so he took this job," said Mary Carol Weisert.
Mary and Steve were set to celebrate 50 years of marriage this fall. He had only been working at the FedEx facility for about four-and-a-half years.
On the night of April 15, she received the news that there had been a mass shooting at the facility where her husband worked.
"I just immediately horror, terror, horror, fear, 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," Mary said.
When 13News spoke with her, more than 12 hours after the shooting, she was still trying to find out if her husband was alright.
"You know, we're trying to figure out spatially and geographically, you will in the building, maybe the guards were shot first, maybe he worked farther back. Cause it sounds, on the TV they said, it was only one to two minutes that they were actually firing. So maybe we think they were back. All the workers were back farther. So that's our hope," Weisert said. "We don't know anything because they don't allow them to take their phone in there. I must've called him four or five times. And they called him...and nothing."
At 8:20 p.m. Friday, police released the identities of the eight victims. John "Steve" Weisert was on the list. The 74-year-old retired engineer who was just trying to earn a little extra money was the oldest of the victims.
A GoFundMe for the victims' families
Survivors and families of other mass shootings across America have started a GoFundMe to help victims of the FedEx shooting.
The organization Victims First has raised $1,000 so far, a number they hope eventually swells to $100,000.
Organizers said they began it to prevent fraud and ensure that donations go directly to survivors and families.
You can donate to the GoFundMe here.
You can learn more about their organization here.