The governor of Indiana participates in the memorial organized by the Sikh community of Indianapolis, still reeling from the attacks last month.
The Sikh community in the US city of Indianapolis held a memorial service on Saturday in honor of the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a Fed Ex facility last month.
Four of the victims of the April 15 attack were Sikhs, sending shock waves through the tight-knit community.
During Saturday’s ceremony at a local football stadium, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said the city “was still reeling from that dark night.”
“Never in my wildest imagination have I seen this day or this cause of coming together as a reason for our unification,” Holcomb told the hundreds in attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Why does a day have to be so dark?” Why must tragedy strike and tear apart a community, tear humanity apart? This pain is sure to persist as we continue to live with the loss in all of our days to come.
Days after the killings, the Sikh coalition advocacy group said the community was traumatized by the attack, which authorities said was carried out by 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole. Hole, a former employee of the establishment, then committed suicide.
US media identified the victims as Amarjeet Kaur Johal, 66, Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Jasvinder Kaur, 50 years old; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.
Authorities have yet to disclose the motive for the shooting, which took place amid an upsurge in gun violence in the United States.
“During this extremely difficult time, it is up to all of us to work together and help each other heal,” said Balwinder Singh, a leader of the Indianapolis Sikh community, in a statement ahead of the Saturday event.
“We hope that Hoosiers from all walks of life and Sikhs in the Midwest will join us on Saturday in supporting all the families affected forever by this tragedy.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said his message to the Sikh community, immigrants and “anyone who feels threatened by this act just because of who they are” is that they are “welcome in Indianapolis” .
“And it’s the responsibility of each of our residents to make sure you know it’s true,” Hogsett said on Saturday.
Archives of gun violence mentionned 170 mass shootings have taken place in the United States so far this year.
The U.S. nonprofit defines a mass shooting as any incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not counting the attacker.
US President Joe Biden has called the mass shootings a “national embarrassment” and vowed to enact stricter regulations, but he faces a fierce battle against gun lobby groups and US lawmakers who are opposed to more restrictive gun laws.