Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogarth speaks at a vigil Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Krannert Park on Indianapolis west side to memorialize the eight people killed in the mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse. Behind him, members of the Sikh community, whose loved ones were killed, hold signs demanding policymakers make gun law reforms in the wake of the shooting. (AP Photo/Casey Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS – Members of Indianapolis’ tight-knit Sikh community joined with city officials to call for gun reforms Saturday as they mourned the deaths of four Sikhs who were among the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse.

At a vigil attended by more than 200 at an Indianapolis park Saturday evening, Aasees Kaur, who represented the Sikh Coalition, spoke out alongside the city's mayor and other elected officials to demand action that would prevent such attacks from happening again.

“We must support one another, not just in grief, but in calling our policymakers and elected officials to make meaningful change,” Kaur said. “The time to act is not later, but now. We are far too many tragedies, too late, in doing so.”

The attack was another blow to the Asian American community a month after authorities said six people of Asian descent were killed by a gunman in the Atlanta area and amid ongoing attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 90% of the workers at the FedEx warehouse near the Indianapolis International Airport are members of the local Sikh community, police said Friday.

Kiran Deol, who attended the vigil in support of family members affected by the shooting, said loopholes in the law that make it easier for individuals to buy guns “need to be closed now,” and emphasized that anyone who tries to buy a firearm should be required to have their background checked.

“The gun violence is unacceptable. Look at what's happened ... it needs to be stopped,” Deol said. “We need more reform. We need gun laws to be harder, stronger, so that responsible people are the ones that have guns. That's what we want to bring awareness to."

Satjeet Kaur, the Sikh Coalition’s executive director, said the entire community was traumatized by the “senseless” violence.