Officials are still looking for Robert Card, the suspect in two mass shootings that killed at least 18 people and injured 13 more in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night 25 October 2023. Card was first thought to be a person of interest, but authorities have now confirmed that he is a suspect in the shootings.
Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Card on eight charges of murder on Thursday morning. Officials reported that eight of the shooting victims have been identified and their families have been notified, and the number of victims will certainly rise once the remaining victims are identified.
Who is Robert Card?
Robert Card is 40 years old and from Bowdoin, Maine, a town near Lewiston, according to officials. He is 5’11” tall and weighs 230 pounds, according to his description.
He “should be considered armed and dangerous,” the police department in Lewiston, approximately 35 miles north of Portland, stated in a late Wednesday Facebook post. According to police, he fled the scene of the shootings.
Authorities issued many shelter-in-place orders for cities and counties in the region, and those cautions were increased as the manhunt continued Thursday.
@MEStatePolice have issued a Public Safety Alert, extending the shelter in place order for Androscoggin County and Northern Sagadahoc County. Please make sure your homes and vehicles are secured.
— MEMA (@MaineEMA) October 26, 2023
Authorities have released multiple photographs of the shooter and have requested anyone who recognizes him to contact law enforcement. The Lewiston Police Department shared photographs on social media showing a man wearing a brown shirt, black jeans, and light shoes holding a semiautomatic weapon at one of the shooting scenes on Wednesday night.
The semiautomatic weapon’s brand was unknown, but officials described it as an assault rifle with a long magazine and sight. Card was an engineering student at the University of Maine, although it was unclear whether he graduated. Bowdoin was his final known address.
He also has ties to Massachusetts though the nature of those relationships was not immediately clear. Along with federal officers, Massachusetts State Police are stationed near the Maine border. As a precaution, officers were stationed around the Maine and New Hampshire borders.
Military Background: US Army Reserve Membership and Awards
According to a Maine law enforcement notice Card is a member of the United States Army Reserve and has an active military ID that allows him entrance to any military base. Officials earlier stated that Card was a firearms instructor in the Army Reserve stationed in Saco, Maine, but this was later changed.
According to a US Army official, Card enlisted in the reserves in December 2002 and is a petroleum supply expert. He had no combat deployments. Card has been awarded the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon for his service.
Robert Card Mass Shooting Main Suspect Declared Mentally Ill by His Family
According to the law enforcement bulletin, Card recently reported having mental health problems, including hearing voices, and he threatened to shoot up a military base in Saco. The alert also stated that he was reportedly admitted for two weeks this past summer to a mental health facility.
A representative for the New York Army National Guard said on Thursday that Card was “behaving erratically” and that officials of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd battalion had informed garrison staff of this in mid-July. While receiving training at the U.S. Military Academy, the battalion was billeted in the Camp Smith training facility located in Cortlandt.
The spokeswoman added in the statement, “Out of concern for his safety, the unit requested that law enforcement be contacted. New York State Police responded and transported Card to Keller Army Community Hospital at the United States Military Academy for medical evaluation.”
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What Happened in Lewiston?
At a press conference, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck stated that the gunshots started on Wednesday night just before 7 p.m. The neighborhood eatery Schemengees Bar and Grille and the bowling center Sparetime Recreation, which are roughly ten minutes apart by automobile, are the locations to which the authorities said they reacted.
Eight persons, all of them men, were slain at the bar and grill on Thursday; seven of them were discovered inside the restaurant and one outside. Authorities also said that seven people—six men and one woman—were killed at the bowling alley. According to Maine State Police Colonel William Ross, all of them passed away from what appeared to be gunshot wounds.
According to Ross, three additional persons passed away from their wounds while being taken to the hospital. “We cannot and we will not rest in this endeavor,” Governor Janet Mills of Maine stated. Following the shootings, Mills claimed to have spoken with Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden.
Additionally, on Thursday morning, the Lisbon, Maine, police chief encouraged the public to report anything that might seem unusual in their communities. Lisbon is located near Lewiston.
A “vehicle of interest” was reportedly found by State Police in Lisbon. The car fit the description of a 2013 white Subaru Outback with a black bumper that Card was known to have been driving after the shooting and that was mentioned in the law enforcement advisory.
A law enforcement alert states that Card is the registered owner of two further vehicles, a 2019 Sea Doo green boat and a 2022 Yamaha motorcycle. Both have Maine registrations.
Authorities reported on Thursday that the automobile was discovered in Lisbon next to a boat launch on the Androscoggin River, which empties into the Kennebec River. As part of their manhunt, law enforcement is combing the northern shore of the river, which is where U.S. Coast Guard crews based in Booth Harbor have been looking for the suspect’s boat.
According to officials, there have been no reports of sightings of Card since Wednesday night.