His mother went to the police, explaining that her son became angry, struck her in the arm with a closed fist and told her to "shut up" when she had asked what he was going to do with the shotgun he had just purchased. She went on, telling authorities that her son was planning on pointing his unloaded weapon at police who would shoot him. "This is not the life I want to live, I'll end it my way," he was reported as saying at the time. Hearing this, officers went to the home and placed the young man in handcuffs, at which point he became anxious and asked them "Please just turn the power strip off on my computer. I don't want anyone to see what's on it." What was on the computer was a number of white supremacist web sites, according to one of the officers on the scene.
This information comes to us from an incident report dated March 20, 2020. More than a year a go. The young man who was the focus on this investigation was Brandon Hole. You may be more familiar with the incident report from last week that included eight dead and several more injured when he arrived at his former place of employment, FedEx, with a rifle that was loaded. It was not the gun that officers had been told about a year ago. That one had been confiscated and young Brandon had been placed on immediate psychiatric hold and taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
When Mister Hole arrived at the FedEx facility, he was carrying two rifles. And a good deal of ammunition. These were purchased in July and September of 2020. Only a few months after his first, unloaded weapon had been seized by police. The rifles he used to shoot and kill eight were taken from the scene by responding officers.
At this point, it would make a tragic ironic point if one of those officers was the one who filed that first report. That was not the case. When police arrived, they were not initially aware of the identity of the gunman. No, it was only after the smoke had cleared and the bodies carted away that hindsight began to kick in. One of those bodes was the now horrifyingly appropriately named Mister Hole, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Apparently he achieved his stated goal from a year ago of ending it his way. The terms had changed a bit over the course of a year, having negotiated the purchase of two new killing sticks. Indiana, the state where Brandon added to the long list of statistics, has a "red flag" law, limiting the purchase of firearms by individuals who display a threat to themselves or others. And wouldn't you know that his particular brand of threat failed to raise that red flag. The rifles were purchased "legally."
Would it make a better story if one of those responding officers chose to leave the force and become a gun control zealot, campaigning for more common sense limits on the instruments of death that have become a fixture of our American culture? Well, that would be a nice story, wouldn't it?