In one of the deadliest attacks in the state’s history, eighteen individuals lost their lives in a tragic mass shooting across two separate locations in Lewiston, Maine. This devastating turn of events was revealed by none other than Maine’s own Governor Janet Mills – naturally, a state-wide manhunt immediately ensued. Federal, state, and local law enforcement were dispatched to systematically search for the armed suspect, their efforts culminating in a tedious two-day pursuit.
The assailant, identified by authorities as Robert Card, was eventually discovered dead on Friday evening, near the Androscoggin River in the Maine town of Lisbon Falls. The cause of death, according to reports, was a self-inflicted bullet wound. This location was roughly 10 miles from Lewiston, where Card’s deadly spree had commenced. The mouthpiece for this information was the state’s Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.
At forty, Card was recognized as an accomplished and certified firearms instructor. His status, coupled with his membership in the US Army Reserve, was shared with CNN by Maine law enforcement officials. Before his demise was confirmed, an arrest warrant for multiple murder charges had been filed in connection with the devastation caused by Card.
Events first kicked off when an emergency call was made to the Auburn communications center at 6:56 p.m. The center received information about a gunman opening fire at the Just-in-Time Recreation Center, a well-known bowling alley situated in Lewiston. Within a mere four minutes, Lewiston officers reached the center and state troopers were present at the site 11 minutes post the initial call.
At 7:08 p.m., a wave of calls regarding an active shooter flooded emergency lines. The location: Schemengees Bar & Grille. By the time state officers arrived at 7:10 p.m., and Lewiston police at 7:13 p.m., the city of Lewiston’s typically placid weeknight was shattered completely by spectacle after spectacle of harrowing violence.
The victims, who numbered 18 in total, ranged in age dramatically from 14 to 76. Among the fallen, seven were discovered at the bowling alley, while eight met a tragic end at Schemengees with an additional victim found outside the restaurant. Hospitals had taken in three more victims who, unfortunately, did not survive.
With the aid of multiple neighboring agencies, attempts were made to identify the active shooter and secure the area as quickly and safely as possible. Col. Ross, the spokesman for the incident, offered insights into the situation, labeling it as a fluid, fast-paced, and extremely dangerous scene.
Following the immediate crime, an intense investigation led by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office was launched. It involved the study of two active shooter incidents and the public release of images connected to the suspect on social media. The images highlighted a man sauntering into a bowling alley brandishing a lethal-looking assault-style rifle.
As the evening progressed, the authorized officials took every necessary precaution, including urging locals to remain inside, locking their doors, and staying off the streets. Furthermore, a white person-of-interest vehicle was publicized in an appeal to the public to help locate it. However, it was only after the police received a call identifying Card that they finally had their suspect.
To conclude the ordeal, Card’s lifeless body was discovered three days later at 7:45 p.m. on Friday by none other than those who were actively seeking him out. His former employer’s recycling center parking lot served as his final resting place. Next to his body, two firearms were found, establishing the fact that he had indeed shot himself. Grieving as the state was, Governor Janet Mills could not help but breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that Card was no longer a threat.
Commenting on the tragedy, Mills highlighted that it was time for the citizens of Maine to heal, marking this as the commencement of a long pathway to recovery. As for the exact time of Card’s death and the motive behind the shooting, those remain to be revealed by the authorities.