A massive manhunt is underway in Maine after a mass shooting that spanned two locations Wednesday night left at least 22 people dead and 30 wounded, Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said in a late night news conference that law enforcement is not yet confirming an exact number of victims since the situation remains “very fluid.”
Wednesday’s death toll is staggering for a state that recorded 29 homicides for the whole year in 2022.
While a suspect has not yet been named, the Lewiston Police Department identified 40-year-old Robert R. Card, of Bowdoin, Maine, as a person of interest Wednesday night. According to an internal Maine Information and Analysis Center bulletin obtained by Fox News, Card is a firearms instructor and has military experience.
WHO IS ROBERT CARD? MAINE AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY PERSON OF INTEREST IN DEADLY SHOOTING RAMPAGE
He is believed to be in the Army Reserve stationed out of Saco, Maine, according to the bulletin.
Authorities said Card should not be approached if seen as he is considered “armed and dangerous.”
“Law Enforcement is attempting to locate Robert Card 4/4/1983, as a person of interest regarding the mass shooting at Schemengees Bar and Sparetime Recreation this evening,” Lewiston police announced in a Facebook post. “Card should be considered armed and dangerous. Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts.”
“Card should be considered armed and dangerous.”
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Card also recently reported mental health issues, including hearing voices and allegedly made threats to shoot up the National Guard base in Maine, according to the bulletin which cited law enforcement.
He was also reportedly committed to a mental health facility for two weeks over the summer.
Authorities told residents in Lewiston to “shelter in place” and to “stay inside your home with the doors locked.”
At midnight on Thursday, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced that the shelter-in-place order had expanded to include the town of Lisbon.
The expanded order comes after authorities found Card’s white Subaru Outback near the Lisbon boat dock on Frost Hill Avenue near Route 196.
The Lewiston Police Department confirmed that the active shooting incidents occurred at two locations— Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant and Sparetime Recreation.
The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office shared two photos of the person of interest, who was seen on surveillance cameras wearing a brown sweatshirt, and holding a rifle.
A local hospital, the Central Maine Medical Center, said in an announcement that it was reacting to a “mass casualty, mass shooter event.”
WHAT ARE INVESTIGATORS LOOKING FOR IN A POTENTIAL MAINE SHOOTING SUSPECT?
As of 9 p.m., the hospital said that it cannot share the specifics on the number of casualties.
“Central Maine Healthcare is coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients,” the hospital said.
Police noted that an area of reunification at Auburn Middle School had been set up for those with questions about the whereabouts of loved ones.
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According to the White House, President Biden has been briefed on the mass shooting.
“The President has been briefed on what’s known so far about the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine and will continue to receive updates,” the White House said in a statement.
Maine Governor Janet Mills wrote in an X post that she has been briefed and encouraged residents to follow directions from law enforcement.
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“I am aware of and have been briefed on the active shooter situation in Lewiston. I urge all people in the area to follow the direction of State and local enforcement,” Gov. Mills wrote. “I will to continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with public safety officials.”
FBI Boston said in a statement on X that it is coordinating with state and local law enforcement.
“The FBI Boston Division continues to coordinate with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in Maine, and we stand ready to assist with any available resources they need, including evidence response, investigative and tactical support, as well as victim assistance,” FBI Boston wrote in an X post. “We continue to urge the public to remain vigilant and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately. As this situation is still very fluid, we have no further comment at this time and will refer you to the Maine State Police.”
The Lewiston Public School Superintendent released a statement on Wednesday, announcing that school Thursday has been canceled due to the shooting.
“There will not be school tomorrow. At this time, there will be no activity at Lewiston Schools Thursday October 26, 2023. There remains a lot of unknowns at this time. Information moves quickly but not always accurately. Please continue to shelter in place or get to safety. We will continue to update you with information and next steps as appropriate.”
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The school superintendent encouraged the student body to “stay close to your loved ones.”
“Stay close to your loved ones. Embrace them. Our prayers go out to those who lost
someone tonight. Our prayers go out to all those working to stop further loss of life. We will provide updates.”
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