What is FedEx? US delivery company explained as eight people dead in shooting at Indianapolis facility

The shooting took place at one of FedEx’s biggest facilities – eight people are known to have died at the scene

Eight people have been shot dead by a gunman in the US city of Indianapolis, before the shooter killed himself, police have said.

Authorities have stated that there is no further threat to public safety, and the gunman is said to have been acting alone.

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Indianapolis’ City Police spokesperson Genae Cook said several other individuals have been taken to the hospital with injuries, and that it is too early to tell if the shooter was an employee of the facility.

FedEx was one of the first major shipping companies to offer overnight delivery as a flagship service (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The shooting was reported at a FedEx facility shortly after 11pm, and that there was an active shooter when police arrived.

But what is FedEx, and what was the facility at which the shooting took place?

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is FedEx?

FedEx's Indianapolis hub can sort more than 2 million packages a day (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

FedEx is a multinational delivery services company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

The name "FedEx" is a shortening of the name of the company's original air division, Federal Express, which was used from 1973 until 2000.

FedEx today is best known for its FedEx Express air delivery service, and was one of the first major shipping companies to offer overnight delivery as a flagship service.

FedEx is one of the top contractors of the US government, and also assists in the transport of some United States Postal Service packages through its FedEx SmartPost service.

FedEx's prominence in both the United States and the world have made it and its marketing slogans a common topic in popular culture, and the firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2013.

How did it start?

FedEx began life as Federal Express Corporation, founded in Little Rock, Arkansas by Yale graduate Frederick W. Smith in 1971.

Smith drew up the company's concept in a term paper while at university, in which he called for a system specifically designed for urgent deliveries.

His professor is said to have not thought much of the idea, but Smith pressed, moving operations to Memphis International Airport, a city chosen in part due to its lack of frequent inclement weather.

The company grew rapidly, and by 1983 had a billion dollars in revenues; the following year, it expanded to Europe and Asia.

Ten years after that in 1994, Federal Express shortened its name to FedEx for marketing purposes, adopting a nickname that had been used for years.

In the 1990s, plans were drawn up which would have seen British Airways fly its Concorde supersonic jet airliner to the Republic of Ireland’s Shannon Airport with FedEx packages on board, but this idea was abandoned.

In March 2021, FedEx announced plans to make its operations carbon-neutral by 2040 by investing $2 billion (£1.5 billion) in sustainable energy initiatives and upgrading its aircraft and ground transportation fleets.

It will be the first customer to take delivery of General Motors’ electric delivery vans, and FedEx aims to have an all-electric ground fleet by 2040.

What have FedEx said about the shooting?

A statement from FedEx says that the company is aware of the shooting – the fourth mass shooting to occur in Indianapolis this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive – and that it is cooperating with the authorities.

It said: “We are aware of the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility near the Indianapolis airport. Safety is our top priority, and our thoughts are with all those who are affected.”

An updated FedEx statement released after the news of the eight deaths said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis.

"Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”

In 2018, FedEx terminated its partnership with the National Rifle Association, following pressure from activists.

What was the facility?

The facility in question was a FedEx warehouse located close to Indianapolis International Airport. The shooting resulted in the brief closure of the nearby Interstate 70, which has since reopened.

The FedEx Indianapolis hub employs 700 full-time and 3,000 part-time workers, and is the second-largest hub in the company's global network at 2-million-square-feet.

It opened in 1988 and can sort more than 2 million packages a day.

In January 2021, the company said it will expand the hub at the Indianapolis International Airport over the next seven years, and will continue investing in the city.

"For three decades, FedEx and Indianapolis have had a dynamic partnership,” Mayor Joe Hogsett told IndyStar.

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