A massive manhunt is underway in Maine for a suspect in a mass shooting that left 18 people dead and 13 injured at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city.
Some towns, public schools and colleges remained under lockdown hours after the Wednesday night shootings, including Bates and Bowdoin colleges. Residents of Lewiston and nearby towns were under a shelter-in-place advisory and urged to lock all doors and report suspicious activity.
“All Maine people are sharing in the sorrow of the families who lost loved ones last night,” Governor Janet Mills said at a press briefing in Lewiston Thursday morning. “This is a dark day for Maine.”The Lewiston Police Department said authorities are seeking 40-year-old Robert Card of the town of Bowdoin as a suspect in the shootings at Schemengees Bar & Grille restaurant and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley. Police said Card, a firearms instructor with military training, should be considered “armed and dangerous.”
The FBI said it was providing tactical support to local and state police.
Card spent two weeks at a mental health facility in the summer of 2023, the Associated Press reported, citing a state police bulletin. He is believed to be in the U.S. Army Reserve and assigned to a training facility in Saco, Maine.
The shootings could together rank as the worst U.S. mass shooting incident of 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks U.S. firearm-related incidents. For context, the entire state of Maine had just 29 murders all of last year, according to data from the Maine State Police.
It was the 36th mass killing in the U.S. this year, according to a database maintained by AP and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University. The database includes every mass killing since 2006 from all weapons in which four or more people, excluding the offender, were killed within a 24-hour time frame.
Hospitals in Lewiston, a city of just under 40,000 people about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Boston, “are not geared to handle this kind of shooting event,” Lewiston City Councilor Robert McCarthy said in a CNN interview.
President Joe Biden, who had been hosting Australia’s leader, was briefed on the matter Wednesday night, the White House said. On Thursday, he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other federal buildings.
(—With assistance from Pierre Paulden)
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