Robert Card: What we know about the suspect in the Lewiston, Maine mass shootings

Local News

As of Thursday morning, police were still searching for Card, and residents in multiple towns were told to shelter in place.

Law enforcement was attempting to locate Robert Card as a person of interest Thursday morning. – Facebook

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, law enforcement was still searching for Robert Card, and had named him the suspect in the Lewiston mass shooting that killed 18 and injured 13 at two locations in Maine’s second largest city.

Maine State Police Col. William Ross said there was an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder for Card. Moss said it’s not yet 18 because only eight of the victims have been identified.

There was little information given about the motive, the search for the suspect, or the identities of victims available. Officials were not able to give the ages of the victims, but said seven men and one woman were killed first at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley, just before 7 p.m.

Then eight men were shot to death at Schemengees Bar & Grille just after 7 p.m. Three more victims died at area hospitals following the mass shooting. 

Authorities kept a 10:30 a.m. press conference short because, they noted, they had to get back to searching for the suspect. Authorities have put multiple towns under a shelter-in-place while more than 100 law enforcement officials search for Card, 40, from Bowdoin. Schools are also closed in the area. 

In a Facebook post from the Lewiston Police Department, authorities said the person of interest — now suspect — “should be considered armed and dangerous.” Officials also urged people to not approach Card if they see him.

Here’s what we know so far as the search and updates from officials continue into late Thursday morning.

Robert Card

Lewiston police had identified Card as a person of interest just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, hours after shots rang out at two Lewiston businesses, located across town from each other.

The Boston Globe reports that people seemed to know the Bowdoin man in the tight-knit community of Lewiston, located less than half an hour away from where Card lived.

“By the time police announced the suspect’s name, locals already know who it is,” innkeeper Olga Dolgicer told the Globe. “They say he has a history of mental illness, but is usually a mellow guy.”

During the 10:30 a.m. press conference, authorities said they couldn’t answer questions yet about motive or reports of Card’s mental health. 

The Associated Press reports a police bulletin said Card is a firearms instructor at a “training facility” in Saco, possibly with the U.S. Army Reserves. 

The document said Card was sent to a mental health facility over the summer for two weeks after he said he was “hearing voices and threats to shoot up” the military base. 

Multiple reporters during the Thursday morning press conference asked authorities how Card could obtain such a firearm with a reported history of mental illness. Maine has relaxed gun laws and lacks the so-called “red flag” laws that some states have in place to prevent those who are deemed dangerous or high risk from using a firearm to hurt themselves or others.

Closures

Many Portland-area businesses and schools were closed Thursday as police had not yet called off the search for Card, reports News Center Maine.

In Lewiston, multiple roads surrounding the restaurant and bowling alley were closed off to traffic. Officials also said municipal buildings and schools in the town would remain closed due to the search.

“The SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER still remains in place,” Lewiston officials said on Facebook at about 7 a.m. “All municipal buildings and programs, along with many businesses, are closed. Stay safe. Continue to shelter in place.”

Nearby town Auburn, Bowdoin College, Portland schools, and other towns, public schools, and universities announced closures at least through Thursday.

Auburn Middle School was in use as a reunification center for families looking for loved ones who were at the restaurant or bowling alley Wednesday evening, the Globe reports.

As for neighboring states, like Massachusetts, the commonwealth’s State Police spokesperson David Procopio said authorities were deployed to the Massachusetts-New Hampshire state line to keep an eye on the suspect in the case that he left Maine. The car that belongs to the suspect was abandoned in Maine, and any reports that suggest Card has fled to Massachusetts are unsubstantiated, Procopio said. 

This is an ongoing story and will be updated.


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