On Wednesday night, a mass shooter went on a deadly rampage in Lewiston, Maine, leaving over 50 people wounded in two different shooting incidents at a pub and a bowling alley. The town was engulfed in terror. The second-largest city in the state was placed under shelter-in-place while authorities launched a massive manhunt for the offender, 40-year-old firearms instructor Robert Card, who had a history of mental health concerns.
Chaos Breaks Out: Shortly before 7 p.m., the gunman opened fire on the well-known Lewiston venues Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant and Sparetime Recreation bowling alley. Co-owner of Schemengees Kathy Lebel described the horrific scene and expressed shock at the sudden violence that broke out during what should have been a typical leisure evening.
subject of Interest Identified: Robert Card was named as a subject of interest by law enforcement sources around four hours after the shootings. Card was a Saco, Maine-based Army Reservist who had allegedly displayed unsettling conduct, including accusing others of “hearing voices” and threatening the military installation. He had spent the summer in a mental health facility and had a history of mental health problems.
Orders for a manhunt and shelter-in-place:
Residents of Lewiston and the neighboring town of Lisbon were told to remain indoors as the manhunt for Card grew more intense. Authorities issued a warning and unveiled a photo of the suspect, saying he should be taken seriously and armed. Lockdowns and increased security were implemented in the impacted areas due to the urgency.
Community in Shock: All Lewiston public schools were placed on lockdown following the shootings, which happened during parent-teacher conferences. Later on Thursday, the district declared that school activities would not be held as the community dealt with the repercussions of the tragedy. Outside Central Maine Medical Center, families frantically awaited word on loved ones who went missing while personnel dealt with the mass casualty incident.
Impact on the State: Mutual aid was requested from nearby towns, notably those in New Hampshire. Concerns over the extraordinary scope of the violence were raised by the fact that the seriousness of the situation almost equaled the state’s total number of homicides for the full year prior.
current Investigation: To highlight the intricacy of the current investigation, law enforcement officials gave a press conference a restricted amount of information. According to CentralMaine.com, shots were fired at the tavern and the bowling alley, and the suspect seemed to be carrying a rifle in photos that were made public by the Androscoggin Sheriff’s Office.
National Reaction: The sad events in Lewiston have drawn national and state-level interest, as seen by the briefings given to President Biden and Maine Governor Janet Mills on the issue. A statement from the White House attested to the President’s knowledge of the developing circumstances and provided regular updates on them.