White House chief of staff Ron Klain has already been in communication with Indianapolis’ mayor, and Biden’s homeland security adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is also in touch with law enforcement officials, according to the official.
Five people have been taken to local hospitals for treatment following the shooting. Police say they believe the shooter took his own life, and the FBI is assisting Indianapolis police with their investigation.
The shooting in Indianapolis is the latest in a recent spate of mass shootings across the country and comes a little more than a week after Biden unveiled several actions his administration would be taking to curb the level of gun violence in the US.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said last week at the White House.
Biden’s recently unveiled executive actions include efforts to restrict weapons known as “ghost guns” that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online. The actions are limited in scope and Biden said they are initial steps to address gun violence.
His announcement came after several high-profile mass shootings rocked the nation, including one at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people and a shooting rampage in the Atlanta, Georgia, area that killed eight people.
The latest shooting is at least the 45th mass shooting in the US in the last month following the Atlanta-area killings. The spate of mass shootings has led to increased calls for gun control measures on top of Biden’s executive actions, but the prospect for any bills in Congress is grim.
Passing gun reform legislation through Congress remains an uphill climb for Democrats in the face of stiff Republican opposition and it is unclear what a bipartisan way forward on the issue could look like.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, two Connecticut Democrats, have been calling Republicans to see if there could be any support for gun legislation that could reach the necessary 60 vote in the Senate to pass, CNN has reported.
Democrats currently have 50 senators in the chamber, which means they need every Democrat on board and then 10 Republicans in order to reach the necessary 60 vote threshold to pass the legislation.
Blumenthal and Murphy acknowledge they will have to pare back a House-passed bill that would mandate background checks on firearm sales on commercial and private transactions as they face opposition from Republican senators and skepticism from moderate Democrats on the issue.
Murphy tweeted Friday morning: “When Congress does absolutely nothing, shooting after shooting, we become complicit in this slaughter. Our silence has been interpreted as endorsement.” He added, “Now is the moment for Democrats and Republicans to come together and pass a bill that will save lives.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also called for action in the wake of the shooting, writing on Twitter that “my heart goes out to the families of the 8 people who were killed and to the survivors.”
“The Senate will act to address this epidemic in America,” he said, reiterating that he will bring legislation to prevent gun violence to the Senate floor for a vote. Schumer is planning to bring the House-passed bills to expand background checks to the floor, but both lack 60 votes and also face resistance from Democratic moderate senators.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.