For family members grieving over the fate of their loved ones who worked at the FedEx facility where the shooting took place late Thursday night, the usual means of contacting them were cut off.
Craig McCarthy, deputy chief of the Indianapolis Police Department, told CNN that many staff members were unable to reach their families after the deadly shooting, exacerbating the grief of relatives waiting for a refresh.
FedEx spokesman Jim my Masilak confirmed Friday morning that cell phone access is limited at the facility where shipments are packaged to minimize deviations. Such a policy is prevalent in industry where distractions can be detrimental to employees և disrupt high-speed automated operations.
Christina Valor said she learned about the shooting from news reports and could not reach one of her husband’s sisters working at the facility. He was waiting for a refresh on Friday morning at the nearby Holiday Inn Express, where authorities told family members to gather.
“We hope for the best,” said Ms. Valor. “But we know nothing.”
Diocese Campbell, who said her husband worked for FedEx, criticized the policy of running a cell phone on local Fox TV on Friday morning while waiting for rumors about her. He said he was told he was fine but would not be able to speak to him until the shift was over.
“They need different policies when you can contact your employee or allow them to have their cell phones,” he told the station.
Usually, when a truck arrives at an facility such as the scene of a shooting, FedEx staff manually unload the packages. From there, the parcels enter a rapidly automated system, where they are scanned, transported by a conveyor and sorted. They can then be re-loaded onto vehicles for delivery to either their final destination or other facility.
“Fast-moving cars and belts are madly surrounding these packages,” said Dean McUiba, chief executive of Light Mile Experts, a shipping consulting firm. “You can not deviate for a second, you can be hurt.”
Mr Masilak said on Friday that FedEx was working with the authorities. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis,” he said. “Our sincere condolences go out to all those who have suffered at the hands of this senseless violence.”