The leader of the Indianapolis police union criticized an Indiana prosecutor, stating that he failed to pursue measures that could have prevented the suspect in a recent shooting at a FedEx facility from obtaining a weapon.
Brandon Scott Hole, a 19-year-old former FedEx employee, allegedly shot and killed eight people this month at an Indianapolis, Ind., facility.
Authorities said that the suspect had two firearms on him and began firing at random at the facility before killing himself shortly afterward.
The FBI said earlier this month that the bureau had removed a shotgun from the young man's bedroom in 2020 after his mother warned authorities that he might try to commit "suicide by cop."
While law enforcement searched his room, they also found "white supremacist websites" on his computer.
Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder said that Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears "failed to do his part" when he did not bring Hole to court under the state's "red flag law" following the warning, The Associated Press.
"Unfortunately, the lack of action by the Marion County prosecutor prevented a court hearing, which could have … prohibited the suspect from owning … any other firearms," Snyder said, according to the AP.
"Why didn’t the prosecutor seek the hearing that the statute requires? Why didn’t the prosecutor use all the legal tools available? Why didn’t the prosecutor try?" he added.
Under Indiana’s 2005 red flag law, which also exists in several other states, police and courts can seize guns from people who have displayed the potential to commit violence. State prosecutors can also request that a court prevent the person from purchasing additional weapons, the AP notes.
And while authorities took a shotgun from Hole in 2020 they declined to move forward with a hearing.
Mears defended the decision Monday, stating that due to a 2019 provision added to the red flag law that requires the courts to make a “good-faith effort” to hold a hearing within 14 days, as well as filing an affidavit within 48 hours, prosecutors were unable to develop a red flag case.
“This individual was taken and treated by medical professionals and he was cut loose,” Mears said Monday. “The risk is, if we move forward with that (red flag) process and lose, we have to give that firearm back to that person. That’s not something we were willing to do.”