A person shot and killed at the least 16 individuals at a restaurant and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday after which fled into the evening, sparking a large search by a whole lot of officers whereas frightened residents stayed locked of their properties.
A police bulletin recognized Robert Card, 40, as an individual of curiosity within the assault that despatched panicked bowlers scrambling behind pins when photographs rang out round 7 p.m. Card was described as a firearms teacher believed to be within the Military Reserve and assigned to a coaching facility in Saco, Maine.
The doc, circulated to legislation enforcement officers, stated Card had been dedicated to a psychological well being facility for 2 weeks in the summertime of 2023. It didn’t present particulars about his therapy or situation however stated Card had reported “listening to voices and threats to shoot up” the army base. A phone quantity listed for Card in public information was not in service.
Lewiston Police stated in an earlier Fb put up that they had been coping with an energetic shooter incident at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) away.
One bowler, who recognized himself solely as Brandon, stated he heard about 10 photographs, pondering the primary was a balloon popping.
“I had my again turned to the door. And as quickly as I turned and noticed it was not a balloon — he was holding a weapon — I simply booked it,” he instructed The Related Press.
Brandon stated he scrambled down the size of the alley, sliding into the pin space and climbing as much as disguise within the equipment. He was amongst a busload of survivors who had been pushed to a center faculty within the neighboring metropolis of Auburn to be reunited with household and associates.
“I used to be placing on my bowling footwear when when it began. I’ve been barefoot for 5 hours,” he stated.
Melinda Small, the proprietor of Legends Sports activities Bar and Grill, stated her workers instantly locked their doorways and moved all 25 clients and staff away from the doorways after a buyer reported listening to concerning the taking pictures on the bowling alley lower than a quarter-mile away. Quickly, the police flooded the roadway and a police officer finally escorted everybody out of the constructing.
“I’m truthfully in a state of shock. I’m blessed that my crew responded shortly and everyone seems to be protected,” Small stated. “However on 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.”
After the taking pictures, police, many armed with rifles, took up positions whereas town descended into eerie quiet — punctuated by occasional sirens — as individuals hunkered down at residence. Faculties had been closed Thursday in Lewiston, Lisbon and Auburn, in addition to municipal places of work in Lewiston.
The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace launched two pictures of the suspect on its Fb web page that confirmed the shooter strolling into an institution with a weapon raised to his shoulder.
Two legislation enforcement officers instructed The AP that at the least 16 individuals had been killed and the toll was anticipated to rise. Nonetheless, Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Division of Public Security, declined to supply a particular estimate at a information convention, calling it a “fluid scenario.” State police deliberate to carry a mid-morning information convention Thursday.
The 2 legislation enforcement officers stated dozens of individuals additionally had been wounded. The officers weren’t approved to publicly talk about particulars of the continued investigation and spoke to AP on situation of anonymity.
On its web site, Central Maine Medical Middle stated workers had been “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter occasion” and had been coordinating with space hospitals to soak up sufferers. The hospital was locked down and police, some armed with rifles, stood by the entrances.
In the meantime, hospitals as distant as Portland, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the south, had been on alert to doubtlessly obtain victims.
An order for residents and enterprise house owners to remain inside and off the streets of town of 37,000 was prolonged Wednesday evening from Lewiston to Lisbon, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) away, after a “automobile of curiosity” was discovered there, authorities stated.
Gov. Janet Mills launched a press release echoing directions for individuals to shelter. She stated she had been briefed on the scenario and can stay in shut contact with public security officers.
President Joe Biden spoke by cellphone to Mills and the state’s Senate and Home members, providing “full federal help within the wake of this horrific assault,” a White Home assertion stated.
Maine Sen. Angus King, an unbiased, stated he was “deeply unhappy for town of Lewiston and all these apprehensive about their household, associates and neighbors” and was monitoring the scenario. King’s workplace stated the senator could be headed straight residence to Maine on the primary flight doable.
Native faculties shall be closed Thursday and folks ought to shelter in place or search security, Superintendent Jake Langlais stated, 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 entire 12 months.
Maine doesn’t require permits to hold weapons, and the state has a longstanding tradition of gun possession that’s tied to its traditions of searching and sport taking pictures.
Some current makes an attempt by gun management advocates to tighten the state’s gun legal guidelines have failed. Proposals to require background checks for personal gun gross sales and create a 72-hour ready interval for gun purchases failed earlier this 12 months. Proposals that centered on faculty safety and banning bump shares failed in 2019.
State residents have additionally voted down some makes an attempt to tighten gun legal guidelines in Maine. A proposal to require background checks for gun gross sales failed in a 2016 public vote.