The man wanted in the mass shooting at a bowling alley and bar that killed 18 people and wounded 13 was found dead Friday, authorities said, bringing an end to a search that put the entire state of Maine on edge for the last two days. Follow for live updates.
— Here’s what we know about the suspect and where the shooting happened.
— Family members confirmed the deaths of the shooting victims.
— Maine’s deaf community is grieving four members who were killed.
— Social media posts spread an incorrect photo of the Maine suspect.
— Maine passed a law to try to prevent mass shootings, but some say more is needed.
— The shooting is the 36th mass killing in the United States this year.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills confirmed at a news conference Friday night that the suspect wanted for killing 18 people at a bowling alley and bar has been found dead in Lisbon Falls, Maine.
“Like many people, I’m breathing a sign of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” Mills said. “I also know that his death might not bring solace to many. But now is a time to heal.”
Maine’s public safety commissioner, Mike Sauschuck, said at the conference that Card was found at 7:45 pm near the Androscoggin River. He declined to provide a specific address.
Police found Card’s body at a recycling facility where he recently worked, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Lewiston Police Chief David St. Pierre said the community can now “breathe a sigh of relief.”
“This is vitally important to all of us that this conclusion came to light tonight,” St. Pierre said. “We’re going to grieve for the families that lost love ones.”
Authorities say Robert Card, who was wanted in connection with the shootings at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a law enforcement official tells the AP.
The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity. A 10 p.m. news conference was scheduled by police.
Card, 40, of Bowdoin, Maine, was a U.S. Army reservist who underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July after he began acting erratically during training, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
Card had been sought since the Wednesday night shootings, and murder warrants were issued against him.
A bulletin sent to police across the country shortly after the attack said Card had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this past summer after “hearing voices and threats to shoot up” a military base.
A U.S. official said Card was training with the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in West Point, New York, when commanders became concerned about him.
State police took Card to the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point for evaluation, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the information and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity
— Associated Press writer Lolita Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.
Maine’s public safety commissioner has named all 18 victims and said all their families have been notified.
Photos of the victims were posted on a board behind Commissioner Mike Sauschuck as he read the names at a news conference Friday. A moment of silence followed.
Sauschuck also said officials have lifted a shelter-in-place order for communities instituted after the mass shooting Wednesday night, but the search for the suspect continues.
“This is not to say the crisis is over, the emergency is over,” Sauschuck said. “We want residents to remain vigilant.”
The 16 males and two females killed Wednesday night ranged in age from 14 to 76, the medical examiner said Friday.
Maine State Police said seven people died at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, and eight more died at Schemengees Bar and Grille. Three others died after being taken to hospitals.
Sauschuck said divers were continuing their search of the Androscoggin River near a boat launch in Lisbon where suspect Robert Card’s car was discovered. He said divers had been in the water as part of the investigation.
“We’re not going to finish that search this evening,” he said Friday. “But tomorrow we’ll have additional diving resources available to us from out-of-state in addition to in-state teams.”
Law enforcement officials said they have not seen the 40-year-old Army reservist since his vehicle was left at a boat ramp Wednesday shortly after the shootings.
Sauschuck said the investigation is also continuing at the bowling alley and bar.
As officials in Maine search for Card, hunters are preparing for a big moment in deer season Saturday.
“Maine Resident Only Day” serves as the kickoff to the busiest stretch of the state’s popular deer hunting season.
Sauschuck said at a news conference Friday morning that he was aware that the season was starting and that he had conversations about it with Judy Camuso, the commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. People should expect to hear more about that later in the day, he said.
“It’s a big deal in Maine, and it may not big deal for a lot of people from other communities, but we know what that’s going to look like,” Sauschuck said. “We also know we’re in the woods. You know, if you just happen to be in the woods, minding your own business, going for a walk, that’s going to make us a little concerned.”
Investigators found a note at a home associated with Card on Thursday that was addressed to his son, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
The officials described it as a suicide note but said it didn’t provide any specific motive for the shooting.
Card’s cellphone had also been recovered in the home, making a search more complicated because authorities routinely use phones to track suspects, the officials said.
A gun was found in the white Subaru that Card abandoned, the officials said. Federal agents were testing the gun to determine if it was used in the shooting and conducting a trace to determine when and where the gun was obtained, the officials said.
Federal agents conducted several searches of properties associated with Card on Thursday, collecting a number of items, including electronics. Investigators are also analyzing Card’s financial information and reviewing his social media posts, writings and his mental health history, the officials said.
The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
— Associated Press writer Mike Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.
Investigators in Maine have received more than 500 tips as they prepare to add river divers to the massive search for the suspect in the Lewiston mass killing.
Investigators are checking those tips off their list as they work, Sauschuck said at a news conference Friday morning.
People can expect to see investigators at the two shooting scenes in coming days as they process “every square inch of these facilities,” he said.
In addition to those sites, he said divers and other investigators will be searching Friday at the Androscoggin River, near where Card’s car was found.
“We are on 24 hours, and we will be, until the suspect in this case is brought to justice,” Sauschuck said.
The ongoing search for Card has prompted dread around the state.
Much of Thursday’s search focused on a large property belonging to one of Card’s relatives in rural Bowdoin, where concerned locals said Card could have the upper hand in navigating the rural, wooded area that he knows well.
In Portland, some restaurants and bars closed their doors, bringing an unusual early evening quiet to the typically bustling downtown of the state’s largest city.
One popular seafood joint posted a sign on its door saying it would remain closed while the staff awaited word on the search. Another restaurant canceled reservations Thursday “for the safety of our guests and staff.”
Androscoggin Sheriff Eric Samson said Friday that organizers of any upcoming events should consider postponing unless “appropriate resources and planning allow for a safe event.” Many county and municipal officials are being asked to provide officers at community events, he said, but there are not enough to cover them all.
President Joe Biden was updated by his staff on the latest information about the shooting, White House officials said Friday. Biden spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said more than 200 FBI personnel are in Maine to help with the investigation.
LEWISTON, Maine — Lewiston Public Schools will be closed again Friday, according to a post by Superintendent Jake Langlais on the district’s website.
“We remain in a shelter in place situation,” the post said. “We will not open buildings or run bus transportation.”
The superintendent said students and staff have been directly impacted by the shooting and the events since 7 p.m. Wednesday are “unimaginable.”
School officials in Maine’s largest city of Portland will decide by 5 a.m. Friday whether to open based on information received from police, according to a post on the district’s website.
Bates College in Lewiston also canceled classes Friday and postponed the inauguration of the school’s first Black president, Garry Jenkins, the school’s website said.