In a tragic turn of events, a mass shooting incident occurred in Lewiston, resulting in 22 confirmed fatalities on Wednesday night.
Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner, Mike Sauschuck, reported two separate shooting incidents in Lewiston that led to “multiple casualties.” While Sauschuck didn’t confirm the total number of victims immediately, he said it would be distressing for family members.
Robert Card, a 40-year-old from Bowdoin, Maine, has been identified as the person of interest in the shooting. Authorities have labeled him as armed and dangerous. Reports by the Associated Press suggest Card, who had undergone firearms training at a U.S. Army Reserve facility in Maine, was previously admitted to a mental health institution in the summer of 2023.
The AP also mentioned that Card had expressed intent to execute a shooting at a military training base in Saco after claiming to hear voices. Residents of Lewiston have been instructed to shelter in place. A similar directive has been issued in Lisbon, following the discovery of a suspicious vehicle. Hundreds of officers are currently engaged in the investigation throughout Maine.
Following the Lewiston shootings, a reunification center was established at Auburn Middle School. Auburn’s Mayor, Jason Levesque, emphasized the need for community healing. He also shed light on the emotional atmosphere at the center, highlighting the relief of reunited families and the trauma experienced by witnesses.
The crime scenes were identified as Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation. According to Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson, the majority of the victims (14-16 out of 22) were at the bar and grill. Images featuring Robert Card holding an AR-style weapon at Sparetime Recreation have been released.
Central Maine Medical Center is presently dealing with the aftermath of this “mass casualty, mass shooter event”, and is coordinating with local hospitals. The American Red Cross has supplied over 120 blood products to aid the victims, though their Auburn Blood Center is currently under lockdown due to the incident, , according to the The Sun Journal.
According to WGME, The FBI Boston Division is ready to assist with resources, and Maine Governor Janet Mills has urged residents to heed directions from law enforcement. President Joe Biden, briefed about the tragic incident, has been in touch with Governor Mills and other Maine officials.