Amid massive search for mass killing suspect, Maine residents remain behind locked doors

by Chloe Baker

During the ongoing massive manhunt for the suspect of a tragic mass killing in Maine, residents across the state find themselves gripped by fear and shock, seeking refuge within the confines of their homes. The focus of this extensive search has been Robert Card, an Army reservist believed to be responsible for the horrifying incident, which claimed the lives of 18 individuals at a local bowling alley and bar, marking the worst mass killing in the state’s history.

The search efforts intensified on Thursday, with a particular emphasis on a property linked to Card’s relatives situated in rural Bowdoin. This location became a focal point, as a multitude of trucks and vans filled with heavily armed agents from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies converged on the scene. Urgent commands blared through loudspeakers, imploring Card and anyone else present to surrender immediately, with hands raised in the air. Typically, when police execute search warrants, they act swiftly to gain entry into a residence. However, in this case, after hours of repeated announcements and a thorough search, authorities departed, leaving uncertainty regarding whether Card had ever been at the location, according to state police.

Richard Goddard, a resident in the vicinity of the search, shared insights into Card’s familiarity with the terrain, emphasizing that Card had grown up in this area and possessed an intimate knowledge of its features, providing him with numerous hiding spots.

The search for Card, a 40-year-old individual with firearms instructor training, continues as authorities caution the public to consider him armed and extremely dangerous, urging them not to approach him.

Card is suspected of perpetrating the violence with at least one rifle at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, located approximately 15 miles from Bowdoin and serving as Maine’s second-largest city. These tragic events unfolded on the evening of Wednesday, leaving 18 individuals dead and 13 others wounded, with three individuals still in critical condition.

As a response to these events, schools, medical facilities, and grocery stores shuttered their doors, while residents in cities as far as 50 miles away from the crime scenes hunkered down within their homes. The city of Portland, Maine’s largest, closed its public buildings in response to the unfolding situation, while the Canada Border Services Agency issued an “armed and dangerous” alert to its officers stationed along the U.S. border.

The streets of Lewiston and its surrounding areas took on an eerie emptiness late into Thursday night. Occasional sightings of trucks or police patrols contrasted with the seasonal decorations of illuminated pumpkins and ghostly figures, a stark juxtaposition to the somber atmosphere.

Schools in Lewiston remained closed on Friday, and those in Portland were set to decide in the morning whether to reopen. Additionally, Bates College in Lewiston canceled classes for the day and postponed the inauguration of the institution’s first Black president.

Residents like April Stevens, who live in the neighborhoods affected by the violence, expressed their grief and fear, emphasizing their thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families.

The shocking events have sent ripples through a state known for its low homicide rates, with only 29 killings reported in all of 2022. Governor Janet Mills has pledged to mobilize all necessary resources to locate Card and hold those responsible accountable for this tragedy.

As authorities intensify their search, details surrounding Card’s recent behavior have come to light. In mid-July, Card underwent a mental health evaluation after displaying erratic behavior during his time with his reserve regiment, according to a U.S. official. A bulletin sent to law enforcement nationwide following the attack indicated that Card had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer, following concerns about hearing voices and threats to commit violence at a military base.

Maine’s gun laws, which do not require permits to carry firearms, have come under scrutiny. The state has a strong culture of gun ownership tied to its traditions of hunting and sport shooting. In 2019, lawmakers passed a “yellow flag” law, which mandates a medical evaluation for individuals believed to be dangerous before attempting to confiscate their firearms. Critics argue that this law falls short of the more stringent “red flag” laws adopted by many other states.

Dave Letarte, a neighbor of Card’s family, shared his experiences hunting on their property and noted that while Card’s family was kind, he had observed signs of mental instability in Card over time.

The search for Card encompasses both land and water, with the Coast Guard deploying a patrol boat along the Kennebec River to aid in the search. However, despite hours of searching, no unusual findings were reported. A car believed to belong to Card was discovered near a boat launch in Lisbon, but Card’s 15-foot boat remains unaccounted for.

In contrast to previous mass shootings in the U.S., where suspects were typically located within minutes, Card remained at large a full day after the tragic events. As a result, communities, particularly Lewiston, remained on high alert, with reminders to stay behind locked doors prominently displayed.

The shootings in Maine represent the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, underscoring the ongoing challenges surrounding gun violence in the nation. Numerous journalists and contributors have been actively covering this developing story, shedding light on its various aspects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Maine Mass Shooting Manhunt

What happened in Maine regarding the mass shooting incident?

In Maine, a tragic mass shooting occurred where Robert Card, an Army reservist, allegedly shot and killed 18 people at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, making it the worst mass killing in the state’s history.

How is the search for the suspect, Robert Card, progressing?

The search for Robert Card is ongoing, with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, conducting an intense manhunt. Authorities have urged the public to consider him armed and dangerous and not to approach him.

What measures have been taken by residents and communities in response to the incident?

Residents across Maine have locked themselves indoors out of fear, and cities have been on high alert. Schools, medical facilities, and businesses closed, while law enforcement agencies issued warnings and urged residents to stay behind locked doors.

What is the state of Maine’s response to this tragedy?

Maine Governor Janet Mills has pledged to use all necessary resources to locate Robert Card and hold those responsible for the mass shooting accountable. The incident has shaken a state known for its low homicide rates.

Are there any details about Robert Card’s recent behavior that have come to light?

Robert Card underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July due to erratic behavior while with his reserve regiment. A bulletin sent to law enforcement indicated that he had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer due to concerns about violent threats.

How are Maine’s gun laws being discussed in relation to this incident?

Maine’s gun laws, which do not require permits to carry firearms, have been a topic of discussion. Lawmakers previously passed a “yellow flag” law, but critics argue that it is not as robust as “red flag” laws adopted by other states.

How does this incident compare to previous mass shootings in the United States?

Unlike many previous mass shootings where suspects were typically located within minutes, Robert Card remained at large for a full day, causing heightened concern and vigilance in affected communities.

How does this incident contribute to the broader issue of gun violence in the United States?

The Maine mass shooting adds to the statistics of mass killings in the United States, highlighting the ongoing challenge of addressing gun violence in the country.

More about Maine Mass Shooting Manhunt

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ConcernedCitizen77 October 27, 2023 - 3:18 pm

gun laws rly need 2 change, dis hapnin 2 often.

InquisitiveMind October 27, 2023 - 7:34 pm

man, this is crazy, Maine ain’t used to this kinda thing, gun laws gotta change!

LocalResident23 October 27, 2023 - 8:11 pm

stay safe evry1, lock ur doors n stay inside!

Reader007 October 28, 2023 - 12:15 am

tragic stuff hapnd in Maine, ppl scared in their homes, hope they catch dat suspect soon

JournalismFan1 October 28, 2023 - 1:10 am

ths txt paints a vry vivid pic of the chaos, gd job.

GrammarNazi99 October 28, 2023 - 9:54 am

2 many typos in dis, needs a proofreader!


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