Updated 16 mins ago
There have been at least 147 mass shootings in the US in 2021
From CNN’s Melissa Alonso
There have been at least 147 mass shooting incidents in 2021 in the US, according to data from The Gun Violence Archive.
The Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a non-profit based out of Washington DC, is an independent research group not affiliated with any advocacy organization, according to its website.
CNN and GVA consider an incident to be a mass shooting if four or more people are shot, wounded, or killed, excluding the gunman.
Since March 16, there have been at least 45 mass shootings across the nation, CNN has reported.
Updated 9 mins ago
Biden orders flags at half-staff at the White House following FedEx shooting
President Biden said he’s been briefed on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is ordering flags at half-staff at the White House.
“Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” Biden said in a statement. “Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.”
Read the President’s full statement:
Vice President Harris and I have been briefed by our homeland security team on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a lone gunman murdered eight people and wounded several more in the dark of night.
Today’s briefing is just the latest in a string of tragedies, following closely after gunmen firing bullets in broad day light at spas in and around Atlanta, Georgia, a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and so many other shootings.
While we await critical details about the shooting, its motivation, and other key information, once again, I have the solemn duty of ordering the flag lowered at half-staff at the White House, public buildings and grounds, and military posts and embassies, just two weeks after I gave the last such order.
It’s a mass shooting just a week after we met, in the Rose Garden, with families who lost children and dear friends as bullets pierced their bodies and souls in schools, a night club, in a car at a gas station, and a town meeting at a grocery store. And it came just the night before 14th anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman murdered 32 people.
Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation.
Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act.
Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence. I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people – including the vast majority of gun owners – to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines.
Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.
We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.
God bless the eight fellow Americans we lost in Indianapolis and their loved ones, and we pray for the wounded for their recovery.
Updated 3 mins ago
“We’re horrified by the shooting,” White House says
From CNN’s Aditi Sangal
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is “horrified” by the shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and added that President Biden has been briefed on the incident.
“Key aides, including the White House chief of staff and homeland security adviser have been in touch with local leaders and law enforcement officials on the ground,” she told reporters on Friday.
Paski also reminded that the President issued executive orders to address gun violence in the United States — stopping the proliferation of ghost guns and better regulating stabilizing braces, making it easier for states to implement red flag laws; increasing investments in improving community violence intervention programs.
There is more we can do and must do,” she said.
She also renewed the call for the Senate to speedily confirm David Chipman, Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and pass legislation to strengthen background checks and ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines and immunity for gun manufacturers.
Psaki said a statement from the President will be released shortly.
Updated 4 mins ago
Vice President Harris: “This violence must end”
From CNN’s Jason Hoffman
Vice President Kamala Harris briefly addressed the deadly shooting in Indianapolis and said President Biden would address the incident later Friday.
“Yet again we have families in America that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” she said ahead of her bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
“There is no question this violence must end and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones. And the President will speak later about the case.”
Shortly before Harris’ comments, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was “horrified” by the shooting.
Updated 4 mins ago
No victims have been identified yet, chief deputy coroner says
From CNN’s Elise Hammond
Alfarena McGinty, the chief deputy coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office, said they are not able to identify any of the shooting victims yet, and the coroner’s office is “in the process of conducting our investigation.”
“What we typically have to do is wait until all of the evidence has been collected. We are not able to go on to the scene yet to confirm any identity,” she said.
Right now, McGinty said the coroner’s office is working with the police department’s Victim Assistance and Chaplin Office to gather information.
She explained how the state of Indiana specifies how victims are identified, adding, “that process will take a little bit of time.”
“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,” she said.
“We are still a number of hours out before we are able to go on to the scene to conduct our investigation, and then after that, we’ll work with the families. Following that process, what we have to do is we will perform our examinations,” she said, adding extra staff will be called in to complete those examinations in the next 48 to 72 hours.
Those investigations will confirm the actual cause of death, McGinty said.
Updated 1 min ago
Indianapolis mayor says he signed a letter last week to the Senate asking for expanded background checks
From CNN’s Aditi Sangal
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said just last week, he had joined 150 mayors across America and signed a letter to the US Senate asking to consider legislation that requires background checks when firearms are transferred between private citizens.
This would “close the Charleston loophole, which allows federally licensed firearm dealers to transfer guns to customers before an adequate background check is completed,” the Democratic mayor told reporters on Friday, adding that it “at least indicates what I would like to see done legislatively.”
Earlier in the press conference, a police officer said he believed a rifle was involved in the shooting, although more details were not yet clear.
“We believe there was a rifle involved. We don’t have the specifics on the weapon yet. Again, we’re still processing that. All that hasn’t been collected yet. But we do believe right now that he had a rifle,” said Craig McCartt, the deputy chief of criminal investigations for Indianapolis Police.
“My concern about the Indiana General Assembly is I believe they only have three or four days left. We’ll make it clear to our governor and to legislative leadership where I stand on these issues,” the Hogsett added.
Updated 4 mins ago
Officers found 4 victims inside and 4 outside FedEx facility, police say
Indianapolis police officers found four of the shooting victims outside the FedEx facility Thursday and another four inside the building, officials said this morning at a news conference.
Eight people died in the shooting, and the suspect took his own life, police said.
“I believe that we had four (victims) — four outside and then four inside, plus the suspect,” Craig McCartt, deputy chief of investigations for Indianapolis police, said Friday.
Police earlier said the shooter started firing in the parking lot of the facility before entering the building.
Indianapolis police “have an idea” of suspect’s identity
Indianapolis police are yet to formally identify the suspect in Thursday’s shooting but “have an idea” as to who the person is.
Craig McCartt, deputy chief of investigations for Indianapolis police, said officers did have other leads on the shooter’s identity.
The FBI is assisting police officers with searching a suspect’s house, Paul Keenan, special agent in charge, said at a news conference Friday.
“We have an idea, we have some other leads that led us to that location,” McCartt said.
“But again, until we make positive identification along with the coroner’s office, we’re not going to identify anybody.”
The shooter died of a self inflicted wound Thursday, after killing eight people during the incident.