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A major manhunt in Maine ended last Friday evening when law enforcement officials made the announcement found the suspect in two mass shootings died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at a recycling center where he had previously worked. Robert R. Card II is believed to have opened fire at a bowling alley and then at a bar in Lewiston on the night of Oct. 25, killing people at least 18 people and 13 others injured. As more details about the suspect emerge, questions remain about why so many alleged warning signs were ignored in the months leading up to the massacre.
In the days following the shootings, the FBI joined state and local police Search by map, carry out Search warrants on his family’s property, flying helicopters over the area and preparing dive teams to search the Androscoggin River, on which Lewiston is located. The 40-year-old Bowdoin resident was “are considered armed and dangerous”after disappearing in the wake of the attacks that started at Just-in-Time Recreation during the Children’s League evening. Shortly after 7 p.m., the shooter entered the bowling alley with a gun Military style rifle. “I heard a really loud bang,” Riley Dumont, whose daughter was bowling when the shots rang out, told the local outlet WMTW. Dumont said her father, a retired police officer, pushed her and others into a corner and placed tables over them for protection.
“It felt like it took forever,” Dumont said of the shooting. Meghan Hutchinson told the outlet that her daughter Zoey was hit by a bullet while running. “We were in the back room,” Hutchinson said. “Another child came in with his arm…bleeding profusely.” Hutchinson said she and others barricaded themselves in the back room, where another parent was using a phone to call 911.
Twelve minutes later, authorities received several reports Emergency calls about an active shooter at the Schememenges Bar & Grille, just a short drive from the bowling alley. Maine State Police report that eight people were fatally shot at the bar; Seven men were found inside and one was discovered outside. Additional victims in both shootings were taken to local hospitals. According to New York, the injured and deceased ranged in age from 14 to 76 years old Just.
“My heart is broken. I’m at a loss for words,” says a Facebook post Schematic read on Thursday morning. “In a split second, your world is turned upside down for no good reason. We have lost great people in this community. How can we possibly understand this?”
After the shooting, authorities in Lewiston and surrounding cities urged residents to lock their doors and stay indoors. Bates College campuses in Lewiston and New York were placed on lockdown Just reports that classes were canceled Thursday at public schools in Bates, Lewiston and neighboring districts. The following afternoon: Androscoggin County and northern Sagadahoc County stayed as part of a curfew while local law enforcement and federal officials continued a multi-pronged search for Card.
Last week, more information came to light about Card, an Army Reserve sergeant who never deployed. NBC reported that the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a law enforcement database, lists him as a trained firearms instructor. The bulletin said Card had recently reported mental health issues, including “hearing voices and threatening to shoot at the National Guard base in Saco, Maine.” Apparently he was admitted to a psychiatric facility for two weeks in the summer Associated PressIn September, a nationwide law enforcement alert was issued about Card because of “veiled threats” he allegedly made against his fellow reservists. According to a New Yorker Just According to reports, these threats were quite obvious: Card allegedly hit another soldier and spoke so convincingly about his shooting plans that the soldier – apparently a friend of Card’s – texted his superior late at night and told him that he believed Card was “confused in the head”. .”
“I don’t know how to help him and he refuses to get help or continue help,” he wrote, according to the Just. “I think he’s going to freak out and do a mass shooting.”
The Saco police chief told the AP that patrols were increased for two weeks because of the alert but did not find him; Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office near Bowdoin said he was not home when officers conducted welfare checks.
But according to the JustThe September texts were just the latest in a series of clear warning signs that authorities ignored. The first case was reported to law enforcement in May, when Card’s ex-wife and son told a sheriff’s deputy that Card was in possession of at least 10 to 15 firearms and was exhibiting angry, paranoid behavior. According to Card’s siblings who spoke to investigators after the shooting, their brother had become “delusional” several months earlier after a “bad breakup” with a woman he met in Schemengees. Despite seeking medical attention and receiving a prescription, he apparently stopped taking it. According to his siblings, he was particularly concerned that local businesses — including Schemenges and Just-in-Time Recreation — were “spreading online that he was a pedophile,” according to the newspaper Just.
After Card’s ex-wife tipped off the sheriff’s office, they apparently began contacting the Army Reserve and Card’s brother, who reportedly told investigators he saw Card drunkenly “babbling angrily about the fact that he had to shoot someone.” According to the newspaper, the sheriff’s office then shifted responsibility to Card’s family, telling the brother to inform them if Card threatened to hurt himself or others – let alone that he had already done so.
Meanwhile, according to the Justthe Army Reserve had decided to “sit down with Robert in the near future and see if they could get him to comment on what was going on.” Whether or not they even did that is stated in the records Just Rated, don’t say it. But after his stay in the psychiatric hospital over the summer, the Army reportedly deemed Card “unfit for use” and said he should not have access to weapons or activities involving weapons.
Officials have not yet given a possible motive for the shooting, but despite his mental health history, it appears to be the case bought his guns legally. In another year that has already seen hundreds of mass shootings – over 565 in 2023 – the Lewiston massacre has placed America’s gun laws in general and in general under renewed scrutiny Maine’s Gun Laws in particular. The state does not require background checks for private gun sales or permits to carry concealed weapons. There are no waiting times for gun purchases or defects Red flag laws which allow a court to temporarily confiscate the firearms of a person who poses a danger to themselves or others. It has a yellow flag There is a law that requires a doctor to consider before taking a weapon away from a person. In an unusual twist, Maine Representative Jared Golden apologized after the shooting for voting against a ban on assault rifles.
“At a time like this, a leader is forced to confront things far beyond himself,” Golden said said. “Humility is required when responsibility is sought.” He added: “Now it is time for me to take responsibility for this failure. That’s why I’m now calling on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like those used by the sick perpetrator of this mass murder.”
This article has been updated.