By DAVID SHARP, PATRICK WHITTLE, HOLLY RAMER and MICHELLE R. SMITH (Related Press)
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The Military reservist who opened fireplace in a bowling alley after which at a bar in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 individuals, was discovered useless Friday from a self-inflicted gunshot, ending an intensive two-day search that had the state on edge.
Robert Card, a firearms teacher who grew up within the space, was discovered useless in close by Lisbon Falls, Gov. Janet Mills mentioned at a Friday night time information convention.
“Like many individuals I’m respiratory a sigh of reduction tonight understanding that Robert Card is not a menace to anybody,” Mills mentioned.
April Stevens, a Lewiston resident who knew one of many victims, mentioned she was relieved to study that the “monster and coward” who inflicted a lot ache was not a hazard.
“I’m relieved however not blissful,” she mentioned. “There was an excessive amount of demise. Too many individuals have been damage. Relieved, sure, blissful, no.”
Maine Division of Public Security Commissioner Mike Sauschuck mentioned Card was discovered at 7:45 p.m. close to the Androscoggin River, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) southeast of the place the second taking pictures occurred Wednesday night. He declined to reveal the situation however an official informed The Related Press the physique was at a recycling heart from which Card had been fired.
The official was not licensed to debate particulars of the investigation publicly and spoke on situation of anonymity.
Mills mentioned she had referred to as President Joe Biden to alert him that Card was useless.
“Tonight we’re grateful that Lewiston and surrounding communities are protected after spending excruciating days hiding of their properties,” Biden mentioned in a press release. He added that “People shouldn’t should stay like this” and referred to as on Congress to take motion on gun violence.
The deadliest shootings in Maine historical past surprised a state of 1.3 million folks that has comparatively little violent crime and had solely 29 killings in all of 2022. In Lewiston, the 37,000 residents and people in surrounding communities have been informed to remain of their properties as a whole bunch of law enforcement officials, sheriff’s deputies, FBI brokers and different legislation enforcement officers swarmed the world.
Card, 40, of Bowdoin, was a U.S. Military reservist. Leo Madden, who mentioned he ran Maine Recycling Corp. for many years, informed the AP that Card labored there for a few years and nothing about him stood out. Madden mentioned he didn’t keep in mind when Card was employed or whether or not he was fired or give up.
Final summer season, Card underwent a psychological well being analysis after he started performing erratically throughout coaching, a U.S. official informed the AP. A bulletin despatched to police throughout the nation shortly after the assault mentioned Card had been dedicated to a psychological well being facility for 2 weeks after “listening to voices and threats to shoot up” a navy base.
A U.S. official mentioned Card was coaching with the Military Reserve’s third Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in West Level, New York, when commanders turned involved about him. State police took Card to the Keller Military Neighborhood Hospital at West Level for analysis, based on the official, who was not licensed to publicly focus on the knowledge and spoke to the AP on situation of anonymity.
On Wednesday, Card attacked the bowling alley first, then went to the bar. Police have been rapidly despatched to each places however Card was capable of escape. For the subsequent two days authorities scoured the woods and a whole bunch of acres of Card’s family-owned property, and despatched dive groups with sonar to the underside of the Androscoggin River.
Legislation enforcement officers had mentioned they hadn’t seen Card since his automobile was left at a ship ramp Wednesday shortly after the shootings.
Hours earlier than Card’s physique was discovered, the names and footage of the 15 males, two girls and 14-year-old boy who died within the shootings have been launched at a information convention.
The victims of the shootings embrace Bob Violette, 76, a retiree who was teaching a youth bowling league and was described as devoted, approachable and sort. Auburn Metropolis Councilor Leroy Walker informed information retailers that his son, Joe, a supervisor on the bar and grill, died going after the shooter with a butcher knife. Peyton Brewer-Ross was a devoted pipefitter at Bathtub Iron Works whose demise leaves a gaping void within the lives of his accomplice, younger daughter and pals, members of his union mentioned.
The Maine Instructional Middle for the Deaf mentioned the shootings killed at the least 4 members of their neighborhood.
Previous to discovering Card’s physique, divers searched the water close to a ship launch in Lisbon, and a farming enterprise in the identical city. At factors all through the day Friday, police autos have been seen dashing via a number of cities, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
A gun was present in Card’s automotive, which was found at a ship ramp, and federal brokers have been testing it to find out if it was used within the taking pictures, two legislation enforcement officers informed the AP. The officers weren’t licensed to publicly focus on particulars of the investigation and spoke on situation of anonymity. Authorities have mentioned publicly that the shooter used at the least one rifle. They haven’t launched another particulars, together with how the suspect obtained the firearm.
Authorities discovered a suicide observe at a house related to Card on Thursday that was addressed to his son, the legislation enforcement officers mentioned. They mentioned it didn’t present any particular motive for the taking pictures. Authorities additionally recovered Card’s cellphone within the house, making a search extra difficult as a result of authorities routinely use telephones to trace suspects, the officers mentioned.
The Playing cards have lived in Bowdoin for generations, neighbors mentioned, and varied family members personal a whole bunch of acres within the space. The household owned the native sawmill and years in the past donated the land for an area church.
Members of the family of Card informed federal investigators that he had just lately mentioned listening to voices and have become extra targeted on the bowling alley and bar, based on the legislation enforcement officers who spoke on situation of anonymity. When he was hospitalized in July in New York, Card had informed navy officers he had been listening to voices and mentioned he wished to hurt different troopers, the officers mentioned.
Authorities had banned searching in a number of communities, in a state the place it’s immensely well-liked. Nonetheless, following affirmation of Card’s demise, a public security alert was issued that introduced: “The search is over for Mr. Card. The warning is over. Looking might resume.”
The Lewiston shootings have been the thirty sixth mass killing in the USA this yr, based on a database maintained by The Related Press and USA At this time in partnership with Northeastern College.
Ramer reported from Harmony, New Hampshire, Whittle from Portland, Maine, and Smith from Bowdoin, Maine. Related Press journalists Jake Bleiberg in Portland; Robert Bukaty and Robert Bumsted in Lewiston; David R. Martin in Bowdoin; Michael Balsamo in New York; Darlene Superville and Lolita Baldor in Washington, D.C.; Michael Casey in Boston; Kathy McCormack in Harmony, New Hampshire; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina, and Related Press researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.