By DAVID SHARP (Related Press)
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A person opened hearth at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday, killing at the very least 16 individuals, wounding dozens of others and throwing the state’s second-largest metropolis into chaos as tons of of police looked for an individual of curiosity and residents had been ordered to shelter in place.
A police intelligence bulletin recognized Robert Card, who was educated as a firearms teacher at a U.S. Military Reserve coaching facility in Maine, because the individual of curiosity. The doc, reviewed by The Related Press and circulated to regulation enforcement officers, says Card had been dedicated to a psychological well being facility for 2 weeks in the summertime of 2023. It didn’t present particular particulars about his remedy or situation.
The doc additionally mentioned Card had reported listening to voices and had threatened to hold out a capturing on the navy coaching base in Saco, Maine. A phone quantity listed for Card in public data was not in service.
Lewiston Police mentioned in an earlier Fb submit that they had been coping with an lively shooter incident at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) away. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace launched two pictures of the suspect on its Fb web page that confirmed a shooter strolling into an institution with a weapon raised to their shoulder. Authorities mentioned the capturing began simply earlier than 7 p.m.
Two regulation enforcement officers advised The Related Press that at the very least 16 individuals had been killed and the toll was anticipated to rise. Nevertheless, Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Division of Public Security, declined to supply a particular estimate at a information convention, calling it a “fluid state of affairs.”
The 2 regulation enforcement officers mentioned dozens of individuals additionally had been wounded. The officers weren’t approved to publicly talk about particulars of the continuing investigation and spoke to AP on situation of anonymity.
On its web site, Central Maine Medical Heart mentioned employees had been “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter occasion” and had been coordinating with space hospitals to absorb sufferers. The hospital was locked down and police, some armed with rifles, stood by the entrances.
In the meantime, hospitals as far-off as Portland, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the south, had been on alert to probably obtain victims.
Authorities ordered residents and enterprise homeowners to remain inside and off the streets. The shelter-in-place order was prolonged Wednesday night time from Lewiston to Lisbon, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) away, after a “automobile of curiosity” was discovered there, authorities mentioned.
Melinda Small, the proprietor of Legends Sports activities Bar and Grill, mentioned her employees instantly locked their doorways and moved all 25 clients and staff away from the doorways after a buyer reported listening to in regards to the capturing on the bowling alley lower than a quarter-mile away round 7 p.m. Quickly, the police flooded the roadway and a police officer finally escorted everybody out of the constructing 4 at a time. Everybody within the bar is secure.
“I’m truthfully in a state of shock. I’m blessed that my group responded shortly and everyone seems to be secure,” Small advised The Related Press. “However the identical time, my coronary heart is damaged for this space and for what everyone seems to be coping with. I simply really feel numb.”
The alert for Lewiston was made shortly after 8 p.m. because the sheriff’s workplace reported that regulation enforcement businesses had been investigating “two lively shooter occasions.” Officers issued an replace round 10 p.m. on their search.
“Keep away from the realm till authorities give the all-clear,” the assertion mentioned. “Search various routes to avoid the realm and any disruptions. If already working within the affected area, adhere to all directions issued by native officers, together with the shelter-in-place order.”
“We’re encouraging all companies to lock down and or shut whereas we examine,” the sheriff’s workplace reported.
A spokesperson for Maine Division of Public Security urged residents to remain of their properties with their doorways locked.
“Regulation enforcement is at the moment investigating at two areas proper now,” Shannon Moss mentioned. “Once more please keep off the streets and permit regulation enforcement to diffuse the state of affairs.”
Gov. Janet Mills launched a press release echoing these directions. She mentioned she had been briefed on the state of affairs and can stay in shut contact with public security officers.
President Joe Biden had spoken by cellphone to Mills and the state’s Senate and Home members, providing “full federal assist within the wake of this horrific assault,” a White Home assertion mentioned.
Native colleges might be closed Thursday and folks ought to shelter in place or search security, Superintendent Jake Langlais mentioned, including: “Keep near your family members. Embrace them.”
Wednesday’s loss of life toll was staggering for a state that in 2022 had 29 homicides your complete 12 months.
Lewiston emerged as a significant heart for African immigration into Maine. The Somali inhabitants, which numbers within the hundreds, has modified the demographics of the as soon as overwhelmingly white mill metropolis into one of the crucial numerous in northern New England.
Maine Sen. Angus King, an impartial, mentioned he was “deeply unhappy for town of Lewiston and all these anxious about their household, associates and neighbors” and was monitoring the state of affairs. King’s workplace mentioned the senator can be headed immediately dwelling to Maine on the primary flight doable.
Related Press journalists Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine, Michael Balsamo in New York, Darlene Superville in Washington, Michael Casey in Boston and Holly Ramer in Harmony, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.