December 5, 2023

Native Information

Police are trying to find U.S. Military Reservist Robert Card, 40, who is needed within the capturing deaths of 18 individuals at a bowling alley and a bar in close by Lewiston. No less than 13 others have been wounded within the rampage.

Legislation enforcement officers collect within the street resulting in the Bowdoin, Maine dwelling of the suspect being sought in reference to two mass shootings on October 26, 2023. Joe Raedle / Getty Photographs

  • Robert Card: What we all know concerning the suspect within the Lewiston, Maine mass shootings

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LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — Shocked and fearful Maine residents stored to their properties for a second evening as lots of of closely armed police and FBI brokers searched intensely for Robert Card, an Military reservist authorities say fatally shot 18 individuals at a bowling alley and a bar within the worst mass killing in state historical past.

A lot of Thursday’s search centered on a property belonging to considered one of Card’s family members in rural Bowdoin, the place vans and vans filled with armed brokers from the FBI and different businesses finally surrounded a house. Card and anybody else inside have been repeatedly ordered to give up.

“It’s worthwhile to come outdoors now with nothing in your fingers. Your fingers within the air,” police mentioned by means of a loudspeaker. In most cases when police execute warrants — even for suspects needed for violent crimes — they transfer rapidly to enter the house.

However hours later, after repeated bulletins and a search, authorities moved off — and it was nonetheless unclear whether or not Card had ever been on the location, state police mentioned.

Richard Goddard, who lives on the street the place the search occurred, is aware of the Card household. Robert Card, who’s 4 years youthful, is aware of the terrain properly, Goddard mentioned.

“That is is his stomping floor. He grew up right here,” he mentioned. “He is aware of each ledge to cover behind, each thicket.”

A number of properties have been being searched and each lead pursued within the hunt for Card, a 40-year-old with firearms teacher coaching. Authorities mentioned he ought to be thought-about armed and harmful and never approached.

Card is suspected of opening fireplace with at the least one rifle at a bar and a bowling alley Wednesday in Lewiston, which is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Bowdoin and is Maine’s second-largest metropolis. The night shootings killed 18 individuals and wounded 13 others, with three individuals nonetheless hospitalized in crucial situation, authorities mentioned.

This picture launched by the Lewiston Maine Police Division exhibits Robert Card, who police have recognized as an individual of curiosity in connection to mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. – Lewiston Maine Police Division through AP

Authorities haven’t mentioned what number of weapons have been used or how they have been obtained.

Faculties, physician’s workplaces and grocery shops closed and other people stayed behind locked doorways in cities so far as 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the scenes of the shootings. Maine’s largest metropolis, Portland, closed its public buildings, whereas Canada Border Companies Company issued an “armed and harmful” alert to its officers stationed alongside the U.S. border.

Streets in Lewiston and surrounding communities have been just about abandoned late Thursday evening. The occasional truck or police patrol would drive by means of neighborhoods dotted with illuminated big pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween.

Faculties in Lewiston have been to stay closed Friday, whereas these in Portland would resolve within the morning whether or not to open. Bates School in Lewiston additionally cancelled lessons Friday and postponed the inauguration of the varsity’s first Black president.

April Stevens lives in the identical neighborhood the place one of many shootings occurred. She turned on all her lights in a single day and locked her doorways. She knew somebody killed on the bar and one other individual injured who wanted surgical procedure.

“We’re praying for everybody,” Stevens mentioned by means of tears.

The assaults surprised a state of just one.3 million those who has one of many nation’s lowest murder charges: 29 killings in all of 2022.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills promised to do no matter was wanted to seek out Card and to “maintain whoever is accountable for this atrocity accountable … and to hunt full justice for the victims and their households.”

As authorities looked for Card, particulars about his latest habits emerged. Card underwent a psychological well being analysis in mid-July after he started appearing erratically whereas together with his reserve regiment, a U.S. official informed The Related Press.

A bulletin despatched to police throughout the nation after the assault mentioned Card had been dedicated to a psychological well being facility for 2 weeks this previous summer season after “listening to voices and threats to shoot up” a army base.

Maine doesn’t require permits to hold weapons, and the state has a longstanding tradition of gun possession that’s tied to its traditions of searching and sport capturing. Conserving in thoughts the robust help for gun rights, lawmakers handed a “yellow flag” regulation in 2019 that might require police to hunt a medical analysis of anybody believed to be harmful earlier than then making an attempt to take their weapons away. Nevertheless, critics charged that it was a weaker model of the harder “purple flag” legal guidelines that many different states have adopted.

A neighbor, Dave Letarte, mentioned Card’s household allow them to deer hunt on their property and have been type, though Letarte mentioned he seen Card appeared to have psychological issues for some time.

“Individuals have issues, however you don’t anticipate them to go on the deep finish like that,” Letarte mentioned. “After we noticed it on the information final evening, I used to be shocked.”

A phone quantity listed for Card in public information was not in service. A lady who answered a telephone quantity for considered one of Card’s family members mentioned Thursday afternoon the household was serving to the FBI. She didn’t give her identify or further particulars.

Eight homicide warrants have been issued for Card after authorities recognized eight of the victims, police mentioned. Ten extra will possible be issued as soon as the names of the remainder of the lifeless are confirmed, mentioned Maine State Police Col. William Ross.

Three of the 13 individuals wounded within the shootings have been in crucial situation and 5 have been hospitalized however secure, Central Maine Medical Heart officers mentioned.

The assault began at Simply-In-Time Recreation, the place a youngsters’s bowling league was happening, simply earlier than 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Patrick Poulin was imagined to be on the bowling middle together with his 15-year-old son, who’s in a league that was training Wednesday. They stayed dwelling, however he estimates there have been in all probability a number of dozen younger bowlers, ages 4 to 18, together with their dad and mom, within the facility. Poulin’s brother was there, he mentioned, and shepherded a few of the youngsters outdoors when the capturing started.

“He’s fairly shook up,” Poulin mentioned Thursday. “And it’s simply sinking in at the moment, like, wow, I used to be very near being there. And loads of the those who bought damage, I do know.”

Lower than quarter-hour later, quite a few 911 calls began coming in from Schemengees Bar and Grille a couple of miles away.

The seek for Card lined each land and water. The Coast Guard despatched out a patrol boat Thursday morning alongside the Kennebec River, however after hours of looking out, they discovered “nothing out of the unusual,” mentioned Chief Petty Officer Ryan Smith, who’s in command of the Coast Guard’s Boothbay Harbor Station.

A automotive believed to belong to Card had been found by a ship launch within the city of Lisbon close to the Androscoggin River, which connects to the Kennebec, and Card’s 15-foot (4.5-meter) boat stays unaccounted for, Smith mentioned.

In lots of previous U.S. mass shootings, the suspect was discovered — whether or not lifeless or alive — inside minutes. However Card was nonetheless on the free a full day after the shootings.

Lewiston was largely empty on an unusually heat fall day Thursday. Changeable message indicators reminded individuals to remain behind locked doorways.

At Bates School, college students stayed in dorms with the blinds closed, mentioned Diana Florence, whose son is a sophomore. She has a daughter who’s a senior on the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which was locked down twice final month for a capturing and a person with a gun.

“I couldn’t imagine it — that that is occurring once more. It’s occurring to my son after it simply occurred to my daughter,” she mentioned in a telephone interview Thursday.

The shootings mark the thirty sixth mass killing in the USA this 12 months, in keeping with a database maintained by The Related Press and USA Immediately in partnership with Northeastern College.


Related Press journalists Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine; Robert Bukaty in Lewiston, Maine; Darlene Superville and Lolita Baldor in Washington, D.C.; Michael Casey in Boston; Kathy McCormack in Harmony, New Hampshire; Related Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York; and Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.