April 16, 2022

Beech Grove vigil remembers victims of FedEx shooting

Beech Grove residents, faith leaders and city officials gathered outside City Hall on Saturday to mark the one year anniversary of the FedEx shooting. - Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Beech Grove residents, faith leaders and city officials gathered outside City Hall on Saturday to mark the one year anniversary of the FedEx shooting.

Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Beech Grove city officials, faith leaders, and residents gathered Saturday to mark the anniversary of the worst mass shooting in Indianapolis.

The shooting on April 15, 2021, happened about 30 minutes away on Indianapolis’ far west side, but the tragedy hit close to home for many in this small city with a tight-knit community of about 15,000.
  
Beech Grove resident Samaria Blackwell, 19, was among the eight people killed that night when a former employee opened fire at the FedEx Ground facility on Mirabel Road.

Mayor Dennis Buckley told a crowd of about 20 people gathered in front of City Hall that the service was a way they could acknowledge the survivors, and remember those who were lost.

“We think of their families and especially one of our own,” Buckley said.

Retired mailman Mike Yeadon remembered Blackwell as a child waiting with her dog by the family’s front door as he delivered the mail. The family’s faith and kindness left an impression on him.

“I always felt better after seeing them,” Yeadon said. “When I heard that she had been killed it devastated me, and I pray every day for her family.” 

During the vigil, white roses were placed on the steps of city hall one by one as the names of the victims were read aloud: Matthew Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Amarjeet Sekhon, Jaswinder Singh, Karli Smith, and John Weisert.

READ MORE: Hundreds gather to honor victims of FedEx shooting as anniversary nears

Members of Beech Grove’s Faith Based Roundtable also read scripture passages and offered prayers for the victims' families, peace and unity.

Saturday’s event in Beech Grove was the latest to mark the anniversary of the shooting. More than 400 people attended a remembrance on April 9 at the Sikh Satsang Gurdwara on the southside of Indianapolis. Four of those killed in the shooting were members of the Sikh community.

On Monday, five family members of victims killed in the shooting filed a federal lawsuit against FedEx and Securitas Security Services, alleging the attack was preventable.

READ MORE: Families of Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting victims file suit alleging incident was preventable

Contact WFYI managing editor for daily news Doug Jaggers at djaggers@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @WFYIDoug.

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