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FedEx no-phone policy left many Indianapolis workers unable to call family after shooting

FedEx no-phone policy left many Indianapolis workers unable to call family after shooting

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Eight people were shot and killed in a late-night shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, and the shooter has killed himself, police said.

INDIANAPOLIS — Jose Lopez sat in a Holiday Inn Express near the airport for hours waiting for news of his friend from the FedEx facility nearby after a gunman killed eight people late Thursday night.

“It is hard because if my friend had a phone, he would be able to contact me right away,” said Lopez, who has worked at the facility for about six months. “Even if it’s a message with one letter, you know he is living.”

FedEx prohibits employees from having their phones with them while they are working, a policy that came under scrutiny in aftermath of a mass shooting at one of the company's Indianapolis facilities that left eight people dead and families scrambling to get in touch with their loved ones.

US FedEx Shooting Indianapolis

Family and friends wait for word of their loved ones who were at the FedEx Ground facility during a shooting in Indianapolis, Thursday night, April 15, 2021. 

The company told Business Insider early Friday morning it's reconsidering the policy.

A FedEx spokesperson would not comment on the policy when asked by The Indianapolis Star.

“Our immediate priorities are the safety and well-being of our team members and cooperation with law enforcement at this time,” he said.

Because workers can't have their phones on them, family members and friends waited overnight in a packed Holiday Inn Express to find out if their loved ones were hurt or killed.

“Police wouldn’t be flooded with calls and family members also wouldn’t be flooded with calls and there would be more news, more details,” Lopez said.

Reflecting on the policy, Lopez said employees should be able to have their phones with them, even if they can't use them during work.

US FedEx Shooting Indianapolis

Family members await information about their loved ones who work at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis where a mass casualty shooting occurred late Thursday, early Friday, April 16, 2021.

Olivia Thla Sui, another FedEx employee who worked Thursday night, said they have to leave their phones in the locker room, which caused a lot of confusion.

"We don't know when this stuff can happen and just like last night like it was just a random Thursday night and nobody expected for this to happen and for the people inside the building. It was hard to get in touch with family members saying they're okay and stuff," she said.



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