Maine Governor confirms Lewiston shooting suspect found dead
Robert Card, the suspected gunman in the Maine mass shooting in which 18 people were murdered and 13 others were injured has been found dead in an area of woodland, near to the scenes of the brutal attacks.
Card is believed to have taken his own life after being the subject of a dayslong manhunt after the shocking violence in the city of Lewiston, Maine, and his death was confirmed by law enforcement sources.
The victims, who were officially identified by authorities, ranged in age from 14 to 76 years old.
On Friday morning it was revealed that a note had been found but its content was not disclosed.
Divers had also been searching the river beside which Mr Card’s SUV was found and at one point a lettuce farm was cleared after reports of a gunshot.
A shelter-in-place order was lifted allowing residents of Lewiston, Lisbon, and Bowdoin to leave home for the first time since Wednesday night.
“Americans should not have to live like this,” President Biden said in a statement on Saturday, urging Congress to act to “end this gun violence epidemic.”
Sheila Flynn and Andrea Blanco reporting from Lewiston.
Who are the victims? Bob and Lucy Violette were tragically killed in Wednesday’s attacks
Bob Violette, a 76-year-old retired Sears mechanic and avid bowler, was identified by his daughter-in-law Cassandra as one of the victims, she told the Portland Press Herald.
Mr Violette, who was a native of Lewiston and ran a youth bowling league, was reportedly killed trying to protect the kids he was responsible for on Wednesday night.
Both he and his wife Lucy were keen bowlers, having started the youth bowling league at Sparetime Recreation, for which Mr Violette was recently inducted into the Maine Bowling Hall of Fame.
“He wouldn’t let you walk out the door without giving him a hug, and a kiss on the check. He was just there for everything,” Cassandra said.
She said he had a special bond with his grandkids and was a doting husband to his wife Lucy, who was injured in the shooting. However, her condition is unknown.
“His first thought every day was her,” Cassandra added.
Lucy Violette was later confirmed to have also died following the shooting, during Friday’s press conference.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 09:00
How did Robert Card get from place to place?
- The two locations of the shootings — the bowling alley and restaurant — are just four miles, or a 10-minute drive, apart in Lewiston, Maine.
- Hours after reports of the active shooting, police located a white Suburu station wagon belonging to Card near a boat landing in Lisbon. The vehicle contained a long gun.
- Card’s body was found in a box trailer in the overflow lot of Maine Recycling Corporation.
- Police said there is a “natural connection” between the boat landing and the recycling plant via a trail.
- Details are yet to be solidified, but officials said on Saturday morning that there is no evidence suggesting Card did anything but walk along the trail that linked the two locations.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 08:00
Two firearms were recovered from the scene and a third firearm — a long gun — was recovered from a white Subaru station wagon, which officials had identified as belonging to Card on Wednesday night. The “vehicle of interest” had been found at a boat landing in Lisbon.
In addition to the recycling corporation owner calling police, Mr Sauschuck also revealed that three family members “positively identified” Card after photos were posted of him wielding what appeared to be an AR-15-style weapon. These weapons were “legally purchased,” police said.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 07:00
Resources have been put in place for victims and those traumatised by the shooting
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 06:00
The aftermath: what we know
Maine shooting suspect Robert Card’s body was found at a recycling centre after a tip from the owner prompted police to search it for the third time.
Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck held a press conference on Saturday morning to provide new details on the discovery of the suspected shooter’s body following a multi-day manhunt after 18 people were killed and 13 injured in Lewiston.
The owner reportedly said “this individual knows the property” and urged authorities to examine the trailers in the overflow lot, Mr Sauschuck said.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 05:00
WATCH: A Maine Democrat reversed his position on gun laws after tragedy broke out this week
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 04:00
After identifying Robert Card as the “person of interest”, the sheriff’s office made photos of him public for identification. He could be seen in the images wearing brown clothes and brandishing a high-powered assault-style rifle.
The law enforcement also unveiled a picture of the vehicle under investigation – a compact white SUV featuring a front bumper painted black. It was a car that the Maine State Police confirmed as belonging to the shooter.
Card, 40, served as a firearms instructor in the US Army Reserve.
As a Sgt 1st class and Petroleum Supply Specialist, he joined in 2002 and had no combat deployments.
He recently disclosed mental health issues, citing experiences of auditory hallucinations including hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, according to a Maine law enforcement bulletin seen by the Associated Press.
He was also committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer of 2023. Card’s family members have revealed their shock, with the 40-year-old’s sister-in-law telling The Daily Beast that they are “shaken” by the news.
“I have known Rob my whole life,” Card said on Thursday. “He is quiet but the most loving, hardworking, and kind person that I know. But in the past year, he had an acute episode of mental health, and it’s been a struggle.”
She explained that her brother-in-law had begun wearing hearing aids and was convinced he could hear people talking about him at the two locations of the shooting.
“He truly believed he was hearing people say things,” she said. “This all just happened within the last few months.”
John Miller, chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst for CNN, described the weapon as an AR15-style rifle with a possible telescopic sight. He noted that the gunman was wearing blue tactical pants with “bulging” pockets, suggesting the possibility that he was carrying extra ammunition.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 03:00
The suspect’s social media posts: unveiled
The suspect showed an interest in right-wing pundits and politics on X, formerly Twitter, before his account was deleted by the company.
He liked posts from Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr, Tucker Carlson and Jordan Peterson. He appeared to focus on content that expressed anti-trans views, as well as on gun rights, the coronavirus and the economy.
Liking a post does not necessarily signify that he agreed with the content, and there is no indication that it was a political attack.
The suspect’s account on X was captured by Heavy.com before it was deleted by the platform, as per its policy. The profile picture on that account appears to match photographs released by law enforcement.
In March, he liked a tweet from Trump Jnr that said:
“Given the incredible rise of trans/non-binary mass shooters in the last few years… by far the largest group committing as a percentage of population… maybe, rather than talking about guns we should be talking about lunatics pushing their gender affirming bulls*** on our kids?”
Mike Bedigan has the full story…
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 02:00
Details emerge after suspected shooter’s death, showing family helped identify Robert Card
Police previously said that shortly after photos of the suspected shooter were released to the public — which were posted just an hour after a 911 of the first shooting — Lewiston Police Department received a call identifying the man in photos as 40-year-old Card.
Hours after Card was found dead from an apparent suicide following a dayslong manhunt, officials confirmed that his family members had identified him in the photos.
“This family has been incredibly cooperative,” said Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck at a Saturday morning press conference.
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 01:00
Scenes from Lewiston in the aftermath of the shooting
Kelly Rissman29 October 2023 01:00
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.