Manhunt underway for shooter who killed at least 18 people in Maine, U.S.

The alleged shooter is considered to be "armed and dangerous".

Brenda Khoo | October 27, 2023, 05:37 PM



At least 18 people have been killed and over 13 injured in a shooting in the state of Maine on Oct. 25 — the deadliest mass shooting the U.S. has experienced in 2023.

The shooting occurred at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, shortly before 7pm on Oct. 25 (Eastern Daylight Time), Reuters reported.

A manhunt is currently underway for the suspect, whom American authorities believe is a U.S. Army Reservist.

What went down

Seven people were shot dead at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, the Maine State Police told The Washington Post on Oct. 26. A children's bowling league was taking place at the time of the shooting, ABC News reported.

Within about 10 minutes, eight people were also gunned down at Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, which was about 5km away from the bowling alley.

Three victims who were taken to hospital later succumbed to their injuries.

Meanwhile, at least 13 were injured, with three in critical condition as of Oct 26 evening (Eastern Daylight Time).

Police believe that a 40-year-old U.S. Army Reservist named Robert Card is "solely responsible" for the attacks.

'Armed & dangerous' suspect heard 'voices' before shooting

Card is considered to be "armed and dangerous", according to the Lewiston Maine Police Department's Facebook post.

The authorities have not yet disclosed the type of firearm Card used in the shootings, nor how the weapon was procured.

However, Card is believed to have used a legally obtained .308 rifle to commit the shooting, investigators told The Washington Post. The rifle appeared to be "semi-automatic" as well, added Reuters

A photograph of Card has also been put up on the Facebook post:

Image via Lewiston Maine Police Department/Facebook.

The Washington Post reported that Card had been trained in using firearms before enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve in December 2002.

However, the U.S. army's records state that he had not used firearms since his enlistment and was trained as a petroleum supply specialist at the Army Reserve base in Saco, Maine.

In the summer of 2023, Card began making statements to target his own unit. He threatened to shoot up the National Guard base in Saco, Reuters reported.

His military reserve commanders became concerned and sent him to a hospital, where he received around two weeks of inpatient psychiatric treatment. He was reportedly released thereafter.

Yet the Washington Post reported that over recent months, Card began hearing "disturbing voices". He became more and more "fixated" on the bowling alley and the restaurants, where he allegedly committed the shooting.

'Massive' manhunt underway, suspect's suicide note found

A "massive" manhunt is currently underway for the suspect, which has included local, county, state and federal agentsNBC reported.

Police searched the woods, waterway, and towns of Maine for Card throughout Oct. 26.

Lewison, a former textile town of about 38,000 people, had an almost-total lockdown to allow police and investigation officers to conduct the manhunt.

The investigation has led the police to a white car in a neighbouring town called Lisbon in Maine, which is about 11km away from Lewiston. However, Card was not in the car.

Police believe that Card used the car to escape from the shooting scene in the aftermath, and parked it at a boat launch on the river.

A suicide note was also found by investigators inside the suspect's home by investigators on Oct. 26 at almost 8pm (Eastern Daylight Time), New York Post reported.

The note, which was addressed from the suspect to his son, had no information that pointed to Card's motive for the mass shooting. Card was also not in his home.

Card remains at large, and the authorities' search for him is still ongoing.

'Another senseless & tragic mass shooting': Biden

The Lewiston shooting is the eighth mass shooting in the U.S in 2023, according to data gathered by The New York Times.

A mass shooting is considered to have occurred when at least four people, excluding the shooter, have been killed by gunfire in a public place, and no other crime is involved.

U.S. president Joe Biden expressed his condolences in what he called "another senseless and tragic mass shooting" in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Maine's congressman & advocates call for tighter gun controls

Maine has one of the most lenient gun control measures in the U.S. due to its established hunting culture.

In 2019, a law was passed in Maine to prevent mass shootings. However, people in Maine can still own guns without much restrictions.

In the aftermath of the Lewiston shooting, the state's gun laws are now being criticised as "weak".

Maine's congressman and gun-control advocates are now calling for tighter gun control regulations in the state.

However, in general, the U.S. Congress has been largely unable to pass stricter gun control laws even after previous tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, where 20 first-graders and six adults were shot dead.

Top image from user9197251328115/TikTok.