The manhunt for the suspect in the mass shootings that occurred in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night, resulting in 18 fatalities and 13 injuries, continued on Friday.
Authorities are seeking 40-year-old Robert Card as the primary suspect, as confirmed by Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck during a news conference on Thursday. He is considered armed and dangerous.
The search for the suspect involves hundreds of police, approximately 80 FBI agents, federal marshals, and personnel from other agencies. Residents in local communities have been advised to shelter in place.
Additional information about the shooting victims emerged as the search for Card intensified.
Heavily armed law enforcement officers surrounded a house in the nearby town of Bowdoin, Card’s hometown, on Thursday night. However, the search at that location did not lead to the suspect’s apprehension.
The shooting incidents began shortly before 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley in Lewiston, where seven people were killed, including six males and one female. The shooting then continued at Schemengees Bar and Grille, about 4 miles away, where seven males inside the establishment and one outside were killed. Three additional people died at an area hospital.
Law enforcement officials are investigating whether the suspect targeted a specific individual, believed to be a current or former girlfriend, though it is unclear if this individual was present at the locations where the attacks occurred.
The weapon used in the shootings was a semi-automatic rifle equipped with an extended magazine and scope.
The suspect, a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army Reserve, serves as a petroleum supply specialist and has been in the Reserve since 2002. He does not have any combat deployments and is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in Saco, Maine.
The suspect had reported mental health issues, including hearing voices, and had made threats to shoot up the National Guard base in Saco. He was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer.
During training at the U.S. Military Academy in New York in July, the suspect’s erratic behavior led to his evaluation at an Army hospital at West Point. However, there are no records indicating his participation in the West Point training, as he began acting erratically shortly after arrival.
Images of the suspect have been released, and the public has been urged to report any information that could assist in locating him.
Police Chief Ryan McGee of Lisbon, Maine, called on the public to report any suspicious activity and assist law enforcement efforts.
The suspect has connections to Massachusetts, prompting Massachusetts State Police and federal agents to be stationed at the Maine border. Canada’s Border Services Agency issued an “armed and dangerous” alert along the U.S.-Canada border.
A white Subaru Outback registered to the suspect was found, and two other vehicles linked to him, a 2022 Yamaha motorcycle and a 2019 Sea-Doo green boat, have been identified.