Authorities are on the scene of yet another mass shooting Friday, this time at a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis.
Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said in a news conference Friday morning the investigation “is still very much in its infancy,” and there are still questions investigators are working to answer.
Here’s what we know about the shooting so far.
Gunfire erupted at the facility not far from the Indianapolis International Airport late Thursday night, when a gunman “got out of his car, and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility,” McCartt said.
“That began in the parking lot,” he said, “and then he did go into the building into the facility for a brief period of time.”
According to McCartt, investigators have heard the shooting lasted just a couple minutes.
Police were called to the facility at about 11 p.m. local time, arriving to what McCartt told CNN was a “very chaotic scene, with victims and witnesses running everywhere.”
By the time officers entered the facility, McCartt said at the news conference, “the situation was over.” The suspect had taken his own life shortly before officers entered, he said. No officer fired their weapon, he told CNN.
“They found several victims injured and several victims deceased as well as the suspect, who was deceased, as well, of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound,” McCartt said.
The deputy chief added nothing had apparently precipitated the gunfire — no confrontations or disturbances, no arguments. “He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
It was at least the 45th mass shooting reported in the United States since March 16. CNN defines a mass shooting as a shooting incident that results in four or more casualties — dead or wounded — excluding the shooter.
Eight people were killed in the shooting, according to police. Four of the victims were found outside the facility and another four were found inside the building, McCartt said.
It’s unclear exactly how many people were injured; police have offered different accounts. Most recently, McCartt said at Friday morning’s news conference that four survivors suffered gunshot wounds and were hospitalized. A fifth person suffered an unspecified type of injury and was also hospitalized, he said.
Earlier, a news release from police said five people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Two others were treated at the scene and released, it said.
The county coroner’s office has yet to identify any of the victims, according to Alfarena McGinty, the chief deputy coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, who cited the steps and processes necessary to complete a positive ID.
“What we typically have to do is wait until all of the evidence has been collected,” she said at Friday’s news conference. “We are not able to go on the scene yet to confirm any identity.”
“As you all know Indiana is very specific in how positive identification can be done — which is identification by a family member, dental, DNA and fingerprints — and so adhering to all of those measures, we must make sure that people that are identified on the scene are accurately and appropriately positively identified,” McGinty said.
Authorities have not formally identified the shooting suspect. But McCartt said police “have an idea” who the person is.
The FBI is assisting Indianapolis Metro Police Department investigators with a search of the potential suspect’s home, FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said Friday.
McCartt said “some other leads” led authorities to the location. “But again, until we make positive identification along with the coroner’s office, we’re not going to identify anybody.”
McCartt could not confirm the shooter was an employee at the facility.
The gunman had at least one weapon, and McCartt told CNN the suspect was believed to have been carrying “a rifle of some sort” during the shooting.
Asked about a motive, Keenan said, “it would be premature to speculate on that motivation.” But officials believe there is “no further threat,” he said.
The suspect was known to federal and local authorities prior to the attack. A family member of the suspected shooter reached out to authorities warning about the suspect’s potential for violence, according to three law enforcement sources briefed on the matter.
It was not clear when the warning was given, but the outreach was followed up by both local authorities and the FBI, which opened a preliminary investigation into any possible threat, the sources said.
The FBI eventually closed their inquiry after concluding there wasn’t sufficient evidence to continue it, according to the sources.
A spokeswoman for the police department declined to comment.
“Well once we positively identify who he is, we will be able to research further,” spokeswoman Genae Cook said.