- A 48-hour search ended after authorities found his body.
- Authorities say the suspect had a history of mental illness.
- Authorities officially release the names and ages of the victims.
The man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 in a shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, was found dead Friday of a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound, ending a 48-hour manhunt in what was the deadliest incident of gun violence. It happened after. History of the state.
The body of Robert R. Card, 40, was found in woods near the neighboring town of Lisbon Falls, where police found his abandoned vehicle shortly after the shooting Wednesday night.
“He is deceased,” Maine Governor Janet Mills said at a news conference, thanking the hundreds of officers from multiple agencies involved in the search.
Mills said, “Like many people, I am breathing a sigh of relief tonight, knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone… now is the time to heal.”
Mike Soschuk, commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Card died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Authorities said the U.S. Army reservist opened fire on his victims Wednesday night, first at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley, and minutes later at the Schemenges Bar & Grill restaurant, which was hosting cornhole beanbag-throwing games. .
Authorities have not disclosed any suspected motive.
The shooting and prolonged manhunt shook the former textile hub and normally bustling but peaceful community of Lewiston, Maine’s second-most populous city.
Earlier Friday, Maine State Police lifted an order that had kept thousands of people in their homes while the search continued.
The city is located on the banks of the Androscoggin River about 35 miles (56 km) north of the state’s largest city, Portland, and approximately southwest of Maine’s capital, Augusta.
Army Reserve Sergeant Card, of the nearby town of Bowdoin, has been described by authorities as a trained firearms instructor who worked as a petroleum supply specialist while on duty at the Army Reserve base in Saco, Maine.
Law enforcement officials also said he had a history of mental illness and was committed to a psychiatric facility for two weeks during the summer of 2023, after which he was released.
Within hours of Wednesday night’s bloodshed, police circulated surveillance camera photos from one of the crime scenes, which captured the image of a bearded man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans and carrying a semi-automatic. It appeared to be a rifle.
The initial trail of leads led to the town of Lisbon, about 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Lewiston, where Maine State Police found a white SUV they believed Card had used for his getaway. And parked at a boat launch on the river. Public records show he owned at least one vessel built by Sea-Doo, a company known for jet ski-style personal watercraft.
Lisbon Falls, where the body was found, is the next town, still along the river.
As part of the search for Card, police searched the waters of the Androscoggin River with divers and sonar on Friday, and sent teams of officers door to door to the neighborhood in search of additional clues and possible witnesses.
The victims were recognized and honored
Authorities also released the names and ages of the victims officially for the first time, revealing that several people from Lewiston were killed, including a deaf man playing in a beanbag-throwing tournament and a father-son duo of bowlers. and a couple aged 76 and 73.
Four of those killed were from the deaf community, Souschak said, asking television cameras to include an American sign language interpreter in their frames at a news conference. The sister of one of the victims told the Lewiston Sun Journal that nine deaf people were playing in a weekly tournament in Skimenez.
They included Joshua Seal, 36, director of interpretation services for the Pine Tree Society, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, the Sun Journal reported, citing the group’s president, Noel Sullivan. The SEALs provided vital interpreting services for people isolated during the coronavirus pandemic, Sullivan said.
Stephen Vozzella, 45, was a postal worker and active member of the New England Deaf Cornhole, the group said on its Facebook page, adding that a moment of silence will be held at the upcoming tournament.
Brian McFarlane, 41, an avid motorcyclist, was also part of a cornhole tournament in Skimenez, his sister Kerry Brooks told the Sun Journal.
Bill Young, 44, and his 14-year-old son Aaron were shot and killed while bowling together, said Bill’s brother Rob Young.
Spouses Bob Violet, 76, and Lucille Violet, 73, were also bowling together in a couples league when they died, the Sun Journal reported, quoting his daughter-in-law Cassandra Violet.
Tricia Asselin, 53, was a part-time worker at the bowling alley who was trying to call 911 when the shots were fired. Joseph Walker, 57, a manager at Schemenez, stayed at the scene to help, even though he could have escaped through a door near his office, his father Leroy Walker said Friday.
Leroy Walker said of his son, “We’re told he picked up a butcher knife from the bar area where he stood most of the time and went to attack the shooter.” The gunman then shoots Joey, killing him instantly.