Archbishop calls for Easter response to mass shootings

People embrace after learning their loved one was safe after a mass casualty shooting at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis April 16, 2021. Eight people died in the attack and several others were injured in the mass shooting. (CNS photo/Mykal McEldowney, IndyStar via Reuters)

INDIANAPOLIS—Expressing sorrow for the loss of life in yet another mass shooting in the U.S., this time at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Archbishop Charles C. Thompson prayed for the victims and their families.

He also prayed that “these senseless acts of violence will stop.”

“Once again our nation is mourning the loss of lives in a mass shooting,” Archbishop Thompson said. “We pray for the victims and loved ones of those who were murdered as well as those who were injured.”

The latest shooting occurred at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis near the Indianapolis International Airport the night of April 15. CNN quoted a police official as saying law enforcement arrived to “a very chaotic scene, with victims and witnesses running everywhere.”

Eight people were killed and several others were wounded by a gunman who killed himself after his shooting spree. In a late afternoon story April 16, The Associated Press said the shooter had been identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana, who reportedly was a former employee.

The motive for the shooting was being investigated. News reports said Hole may have been known to federal and local authorities, because a relative reportedly had warned authorities he had a potential for violence, according to three law enforcement sources familiar with the matter who spoke to CNN.

The U.S. has seen at least 147 mass shootings in 2021, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit based in Washington.

“The U.S. Catholic bishops have long supported changes in the law to control the sale and use of firearms,” the Indianapolis archbishop said in his statement. “May we all recognize that we are made in the image and likeness of God and continue to do what we can to end this senseless violence and to live together in peace.”

“As we heard at Mass yesterday, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted’ (Ps. 34:19). We again need prayer and concrete acts of charity for the families, and for all victims of violent crime,” Archbishop Thompson said.
“Again and again, we react in horror to these violent acts, but many cannot agree on how to stop them. The bishops continue to support a number of policy measures to try to reduce homicides and suicides.[1] In this Easter season, when we are reminded that there is always hope, even when we seem to be at a dead end, I would ask our political leaders, and all people of good will, once more to examine this issue and propose prudential solutions. It is good that President Biden and some leaders in Congress are drawing renewed attention to this. For a comprehensive and long-lasting path to peace, it will take bipartisan cooperation. In the spirit of Easter, let us pray for renewed reverence for the gift of life, and faith that by the grace of God, we can always begin again and work towards peace.”