(The Center Square) – A massive manhunt was underway Thursday after 18 people were killed and 13 injured following a gunman’s shootings at two locations in Lewiston, Maine, late Wednesday night.
Residents in the region have been urged to shelter in place as police search for Robert Card. The 40-year-old from Bowdoin is believed to be the shooter. Card is reportedly an Army reservist and firearms expert with a history of mental illness.
In a Thursday morning press conference, Gov. Janet Mills and multiple local, state and federal law enforcement officials emphasized Card is considered “armed and dangerous” and urged citizens to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.
The shootings began at a Lewiston bowling alley and continued to a nearby bar. Seven victims were shot and killed at the Just-in-Time bowling alley, including six males and one female. A short time later, a shooting was reported at the Schemengees Bar and Grille, where eight people were shot and killed, all males. Seven of the victims were found inside and one outside. Three additional victims were transported to local hospitals, where they died, according to Col. William Ross from the Maine State Police.
Law enforcement and health care officials have not released the ages of the killed and injured. According to medical officials, three victims remain in critical condition at this time.
Card’s vehicle was found abandoned at a boat landing along the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls, between Lewiston and Card’s home in Bowdoin.
An arrest warrant for eight counts of murder has been issued for Card, according to Ross. The number will rise once the additional victims are identified.
During a press conference, Ross stressed that Card “should not be approached” and said it is a “very fluid situation.” Many area schools, including Lewiston, Lisbon and Bowdoin, were closed Thursday.
According to a document circulated to law enforcement officials, Card was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks in the summer. The report said Card had been “hearing voices” and threatened to “shoot up” a military base.
Mills expressed her sadness for the horrific shooting while underscoring Maine’s resiliency in the wake of the tragedy.
“This is a dark day for Maine,” said the governor. “We will heal together.
“We are strong, resilient and a caring people.”
President Joe Biden, in a release, said he has instructed his administration to “provide everything that is needed to support the people of Maine.” The president’s message spoke of “gun safety,” “gun violence,” and “banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines”; a reference to mental health was associated with victims, not shooters.