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During Indianapolis shooting, FedEx cell phone policy meant some family members couldn’t reach workers

The wife of one worker described a “total nightmare” until he was able to call her

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Police caution tape blocks the entrance to the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
Photo by JEFF DEAN/AFP via Getty Images

During a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis on Thursday, a company policy barring some employees from having their cell phones on them while working prevented family members from being able to contact workers inside the facility, The New York Times reported.

Authorities said the gunman, a former employee, fired into the warehouse killing eight people and wounding at least seven others, then fatally shot himself before police arrived. The incident began around 11PM Thursday and was over in a matter of minutes.

Tami Campbell, whose husband works at the facility, said she didn’t know what had happened to him until he called her after his shift ended at 10AM Friday. “I called his phone a thousand times even though I knew he wouldn’t have it,” she told the Times. And according to the Indianapolis Star, many family members had to wait overnight at a Holiday Inn Express to find out if their family members had been hurt or killed.

In a statement to The Verge on Saturday, a FedEx spokesperson described the cell phone policy: “To support safety protocols and minimize potential distractions around package sortation equipment and dock operations, cell phone access within certain areas of FedEx Ground field operations is limited to authorized team members.”