Maine Governor confirms Lewiston shooting suspect found dead
Days after Robert Card, the suspected gunman in the Maine mass shooting in which 18 people were murdered and 13 others were injured was found dead, Maine begins to heal; now that shelter-in-place orders have been lifted, community members are gathering for vigils and placing signs and dedications around Lewiston in honour of those lost in the tragedy.
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.
The ‘difficult corner’ Republicans have found themselves in regarding guns
The interview illustrates well the difficult corner where Republicans now find themselves — simultaneously pushing for the government to have more power against individuals in some areas and less power in others. And unable to risk the political consequences of supporting reforms to gun legislation, the party finds itself in the wilderness when attempting to offer meaningful responses to mass shootings, John Bowden reports.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 09:00
The president’s response to the shooting
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 08:00
Mystery lingers around the note left by the suspected shooter
Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck confirmed in a press conference on Friday that a note had been recovered in the wake of Wednesday’s attacks which left 18 victims dead and another 13 wounded.
However, Mr Sauschuck refused to reveal the contents of the note, hinting that it may point to a possible motive for the killings.
The revelation came hours before authorities found Card’s body in a wooded area close to a recycling area where he used to work. He appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound.
Police sources had previously told ABC News that a “suicide note” addressed to his son had been found inside Mr Card’s home during a search.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 07:00
The victims of the rampage
A bar manager, four deaf friends and a teenage bowler were among the 18 victims who were formally identified by police on Friday.
The ages of those caught up in the violence ranged from 14 to 76 years old. Some who died reportedly put themselves in the line of fire to protect others. Many GoFundMe pages have been set up for victims and their families — some have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps signaling a desire to end the gun violence epidemic.
The Independent has the full list of victims identified by police.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 06:00
A timeline of the tragedy
- Months before the deadly attacks, Robert Card, a US Army reservist, was reportedly held in a mental facility for weeks over the summer. He was taken by police in July for evaluation at the urging of concerned military officials.
- In mid-September, a statewide awareness alert was issued after Card made threats against the base in Saco, Maine.
Fast forward to Wednesday, 25 October…
- Minutes before 7pm on Wednesday night, shots were fired at Just-in-Time Recreation, a bowling alley on Mollison Way in Lewiston, Maine.
- At 7.08pm, multiple 911 calls reported an active shooter at Schemengees Bar and Grill on Lincoln Street, just four miles from the bowling alley.
- Just after 8pm, Maine State Police urged Lewiston residents to shelter in place. “Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations,” the department wrote.
- At 8.06pm, police released a photo of the shooter to the media, and an hour and a half later, the Lewiston Police Department received a call identifying the man in photos as Card. Among the first calls were from Card’s family members, officials revealed on Saturday morning.
- Two hours later, at 9.56pm, state police officers alerted that they had found a “vehicle of interest” in Lisbon at Pejepscot Boat Launch, prompting the shelter-in-place advisory to extend to Lisbon. The Lewiston Police posted a photo on Wednesday night of a white Subaru station wagon. That vehicle was registered to Card, police said. A long gun was found in the vehicle.
- By Friday evening, police had found Card’s body — in a box trailer in Maine Recycling Corporation’s overflow lot. Authorities believe he took his own life. It’s not entirely clear how Card wound up at the recycling facility, but it is believed that he walked from the boat landing via a trail that linked the two locations.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 05:00
Florida Gov Ron DeSantis gives contradictory response to the mass shooting
When asked on “Meet the Press” about if anything could have prevented the tragedy, the Florida governor appeared to offer two conflicting views on the subject, arguing that the government should have more power to institutionalise Americans who are deemed to be a threat to themselves and/or others, while simultaneously making the assertion that red flag laws, designed to prevent such individuals from owning firearms, would be a step too far.
Presumably, Mr DeSantis does not believe that those Americans committed to mental health facilities through the power of state or federal governments should have access to firearms while they are in treatment.
“I would be more aggressive with some of those fringe people who are clearly demonstrating signs that they are a major danger to society,” he vowed.
John Bowden has the full story…
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 04:00
Maine Sen Susan Collins’ statement after the shooting
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 03:00
Lewiston begins to heal, days after gunman found dead
The parking lot was full Saturday morning at Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery in Lewiston after “a very quiet couple of days out here,” manager Brittany Peterson said. “There was no movement; the only movements that you heard were police sirens and helicopters.”
Local authorities announced counselling services at different locations on Saturday for people directly impacted by the shootings and for members of the wider community. Residents swarmed supermarkets and other stores, which had been completely shuttered since the shelter-in-place order was implemented on Wednesday as a manhunt began.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 02:00
Could the shootings have been prevented?
The warning signs appear to have been there with Card – with his threats against a National Guard base and serious mental health concerns.
Now, questions are being asked as to whether the mass shooting could have been prevented if steps had been taken to prevent him from having access to firearms.
Maine has very lax gun laws and people don’t need a permit or a background check to buy or conceal carry a gun. Possession of semiautomatic weapons is also legal in the state. The state also does not have a red flag law in place – a law used to prevent individuals from purchasing or possessing guns if they are feared to be a danger to themselves or others.
However, it does have a yellow flag law that enables family members to contact law enforcement and seek a temporary order restricting a relative from accessing firearms if they appear to be suffering a mental health crisis.
Under the law, the individual must first be taken into police custody for a medical evaluation – something that did happen to Card in the summer.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 01:00
ICYMI: What happened to Robert Card?
Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck confirmed on Friday evening that the body of Robert Card had been found in an area of woodland, some eight miles from the scene of the shootings.
The US Army reserve is believed to have taken his own life in an area near a recycling facility where he had been recently fired from, CNN reported.
Maine Department of Public Safety commissioner Mike Sauschuck said the body had been found at 7.45pm ET, and that he had called the gunman’s family – as well as victims’ families – prior to the press conference.
“They lost a loved one in this scenario, and there were many of that family that was very cooperative with us throughout. So they deserved that phone call,” he said.
Prior to this, Card had not been seen since he allegedly opened fire at the bar in Lewiston on Wednesday night.
Investigators traced his vehicle to a boat landing in Lisbon – around eight miles from the crime scene – just hours later.
Kelly Rissman30 October 2023 00:00