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Monday April 15th

Mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine leaves 18 dead and 13 injured

<p><em>A gunman fatally shot 18 people and left 13 wounded after opening fire at two locations in Lewiston, Maine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / “</em><a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lewiston-Auburn_Court_Street.jpg" target=""><em>Lewiston-Auburn Court Street</em></a><em>” by Back2reality07. July 14, 2013). </em></p>

A gunman fatally shot 18 people and left 13 wounded after opening fire at two locations in Lewiston, Maine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / “Lewiston-Auburn Court Street” by Back2reality07. July 14, 2013). 

By Gauri Patel
Staff Writer

A gunman fatally shot 18 people and left 13 wounded after opening fire at two locations in Lewiston, Maine. After an extensive two-day manhunt, the sole suspect, identified by officials as 40-year-old Robert Card, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CNN. 

The multi-state manhunt began on Wednesday night after gunshots rang out at a local bowling alley and again at a nearby restaurant and bar, where several victims had been competing in a cornhole tournament. Police received a 911 call at around 7:00 p.m. from the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley, where six men and one woman died of apparent gunshot wounds. Just over ten minutes later, police were called to the scene at nearby Schemengees Bar & Grille where eight people were killed. Three more victims died in nearby hospitals after the deadly rampage, according to CBS

The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States this year, and the worst shooting since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at a school. The oldest victim in the Lewiston shootings was a 76-year-old man, Robert E. Violette, and the youngest was a 14-year-old boy, Aaron Young, who was bowling with his father. 

Police said the gunman fled after the shootings and was considered armed and dangerous. The search prompted a shelter-in-place order and the shutdown of schools and businesses as more than 300 members of law enforcement searched several towns for the gunman, according to NPR. Authorities searched the bowling alley and restaurant for evidence; additionally, teams of divers planned to use sonar technology to scan the Androscoggin River for evidence near where Card's white Subaru was found. 

Authorities uncovered a multitude of weapons during their search for Card and believe he had legally purchased his guns, including a high-powered rifle found in his Subaru. It has not been confirmed whether the rifle was the same weapon he used to carry out his attacks in Lewiston, according to CNN. 

At a news conference on Saturday, state Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck made the announcement that the shelter-in-place order had been lifted after Card was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound near a recycling plant in Lisbon Falls from which he had recently been fired. While it is unclear what the suspect’s motive was, Sauschuck said that officials received information indicating the suspect was hearing voices in his head and felt as though people were talking about him.

“I think clearly there's a mental health component to this," Sauschuck said at the conference. "We still need to do some research around trying to get access to certain records and things of that nature."

Card, an Army Reservist, had supposedly been experiencing mental health issues, including hearing voices, and had threatened to shoot up a National Guard base in Saco. A U.S. Defense Department official confirmed to ABC News that while he was deployed over the summer at the Camp Smith Training Center in upstate New York, officials became concerned with his erratic behavior. Law enforcement was contacted by garrison staff, and Card was transported to Keller Army Community Hospital at the U.S. Military Academy for medical evaluation, according to the official.

President Biden issued a statement following the news of Card being found, commending the law enforcement officers for their work in the intense search over two days. He also renewed his call upon Republicans in Congress, who largely oppose restrictions on gun ownership, to pass legislation banning assault weapons and enacting universal background checks. 

“I once again call on Republicans in Congress to fulfill their obligation to keep the American people safe,” Biden said. “Until that day comes, I will continue to do everything in my power to end this gun violence epidemic. “The Lewiston community – and all Americans – deserve nothing less.”




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