Armed Police Enforce Perimeter Around Residence in Hunt for Individual Responsible for Fatal Maine Shooting Spree

by Madison Thomas

Armed police units set up a perimeter around a residence on Thursday in their ongoing pursuit of a U.S. Army reservist identified as the perpetrator of a mass shooting at a bowling facility and a local bar in Lewiston, Maine, resulting in 18 fatalities and 13 injuries.

“Step outside immediately, hands empty and raised,” officers commanded via loudspeaker near a house owned by a relative of the suspect, Robert Card, in the vicinity of Bowdoin.

A substantial contingent of law enforcement personnel converged on the location, issuing continual directives for Card and any occupants to vacate the premises. Typically, in warrant executions for violent offenders, police expedite the process of entering the residence.

“These loudspeaker announcements are routine protocol when serving a search warrant, with the aim of ensuring the safety of everyone concerned,” said Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the state police. “It remains uncertain if Robert Card is present in any of the residences that will be subjected to search.”

A large force of law enforcement officers, comprising numerous FBI agents, has been engaged in a manhunt for Card, a 40-year-old reservist with a history of mental health concerns, since the calamitous events on Wednesday night at a bowling alley and a bar, which led to widespread panic, forcing patrons to seek cover.

Public institutions including schools, medical facilities, and grocery stores shuttered their doors, affecting areas even 50 miles away from the location of the Wednesday night shooting incidents.

President Joe Biden has directed that all U.S. flags be flown at half-mast, as expressions of sympathy flood in nationally and from the state of Maine, including from native author Stephen King, who labeled the incident “insanity.” The violent episode has jolted a state of just 1.3 million inhabitants, which boasts one of the lowest homicide rates in the nation, recording only 29 homicides for the entire year of 2022.

Officials have cautioned that Card is armed and dangerous and should not be confronted. An anonymous U.S. official disclosed to The Big Big News that Card had undergone a mental health assessment in mid-July after displaying unstable behavior during his time with his Army Reserve unit.

Law enforcement had not confirmed any sightings of Card since the shooting incidents at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley located approximately 4 miles from the bar. Visual evidence of Card entering the bowling facility with a firearm was disseminated by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office.

Questions remain unanswered about the specific armaments utilized by Card in these attacks and their origins.

Earlier on Thursday, close to the property associated with Card, multiple law enforcement units, heavily armed, assembled. Additional support arrived in the form of a military-style vehicle, a white van, and a hovering helicopter while repeated calls of “FBI! Open the door!” were heard, followed by a series of loud detonations.

A telephone number registered to Card was found to be inactive, and a female relative confirmed the family was aiding the FBI, without providing further specifics.

In a precautionary move, the Canada Border Services Agency has issued a warning to its officers about the armed and dangerous suspect.

Maine Governor Janet Mills has vowed to exhaust all resources to locate Card and promised full accountability and justice for the victims and their families.

Eight murder warrants have been initiated for Card, with an additional ten likely to follow upon confirmation of the remaining victims’ identities, according to Maine State Police Col. William Ross.

Of the 13 injured individuals, three are in a critical state, while five others have been admitted to Central Maine Medical Center in stable condition.

The spate of violence commenced at Just-In-Time Recreation during a children’s bowling league event shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday. One attendee recounted his narrow escape from the gunfire, initially mistaking the sounds for a popped balloon.

Schools and public buildings as far away as Kennebunk and Portland have remained closed as the intensive search operation for Card continues.

This episode has been marked as the 36th mass killing in the U.S. for the year, according to data from The Big Big News and USA Today, in collaboration with Northeastern University.

Maine’s legislative framework does not mandate permits for gun possession. Despite the state’s robust gun ownership culture tied to hunting and sport shooting, legislators passed a “yellow flag” law in 2019 that requires a medical evaluation prior to attempting weapon confiscation from individuals deemed dangerous. Critics argue this law is less stringent than “red flag” laws adopted by other states.

This story has been updated to correct the name of the bowling alley from Sparetime Recreation to Just-In-Time Recreation, as initially misreported by authorities.

Contributors to this report include Patrick Whittle, Robert Bukaty, Darlene Superville, Lolita Baldor, Michael Casey, Kathy McCormack, Rhonda Shafner, and Jeffrey Collins.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mass shooting manhunt

What happened in the mass shooting in Maine?

On a Wednesday night, a mass shooting occurred at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine. The suspect, U.S. Army reservist Robert Card, allegedly killed 18 people and wounded 13 others. The shooting sent patrons into a panic, hiding under tables and behind bowling pins.

Who is the suspect and what is his background?

The suspect is identified as Robert Card, a 40-year-old U.S. Army reservist. He has a history of mental health issues and underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July. Card was previously committed to a mental health facility this past summer for hearing voices and making threats.

How have law enforcement agencies responded?

Hundreds of law enforcement agents, including FBI agents, have been involved in the manhunt for Card. Police surrounded a home owned by Card’s relative near the town of Bowdoin, Maine. Schools, offices, and stores have been closed in areas as far as 50 miles from the crime scenes as the search intensifies.

What measures have been taken by political figures?

President Joe Biden has ordered all U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff. Maine Governor Janet Mills has pledged to find Card and hold him accountable. Authorities have also issued eight murder warrants for Card, with more expected to be issued upon further identification of victims.

What is the status of the wounded victims?

Three of the 13 people wounded in the shootings are in critical condition. Five others are hospitalized but stable, according to Central Maine Medical Center officials.

What has been the community’s response?

The events have shocked the state of Maine, which has one of the lowest homicide rates in the country. Condolences have poured in from around the nation, including from Maine native and author Stephen King. Community members have stayed behind locked doors, and public buildings, even in distant cities, have closed.

What is the significance of this event in the context of U.S. mass shootings?

This incident marks the 36th mass killing in the United States for the year, according to a database maintained in partnership with Northeastern University. It has sparked discussions about mental health and gun control, particularly in Maine, which has a longstanding culture of gun ownership.

Has the suspect been located?

As of the latest reports, Robert Card has not been located. A multistate search is ongoing on both land and water. Authorities consider him to be armed and dangerous and caution the public against approaching him.

Are there any alerts or advisories for bordering countries?

Yes, the Canada Border Services Agency has issued an “armed and dangerous” alert to its officers stationed along the Canada-U.S. border in connection with the manhunt for Robert Card.

More about Mass shooting manhunt

  • FBI Official Statement on Maine Shooting
  • Central Maine Medical Center Updates on Victims
  • Northeastern University Mass Killings Database
  • Maine Governor Janet Mills’ Press Conference
  • Canada Border Services Agency Alert
  • Statement from President Joe Biden
  • Community Reactions in Maine
  • Historical Homicide Rates in Maine
  • U.S. Army Reservist Mental Health Programs
  • Stephen King’s Condolence Message

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Liberty4All October 27, 2023 - 2:33 am

Look at Maine’s gun laws. Maybe its time to reevaluate?

MomofThree October 27, 2023 - 3:33 am

Cant even imagine the fear those kids at the bowling alley felt. What a world they’re growing up in.

PoliSciGeek October 27, 2023 - 3:48 am

Flags at half-staff, again. How many times do we have to go through this. Policy needs to catch up with reality. fast.

ArmyVet1990 October 27, 2023 - 6:30 am

A reservist gone rogue? Clearly there were signs. The army needs to step up its mental health game. this could’ve been prevented.

ConcernedCitizen October 27, 2023 - 8:47 am

I knew someone at that bar… it’s just sinking in how close this hit home. Praying for all involved.

JohnDoe45 October 27, 2023 - 12:01 pm

I can’t believe this is happening in Maine. The state is usually so peaceful, why now? Something has to change.

Tea_and_Sympathy October 27, 2023 - 1:20 pm

stephen king called it madness, and he’s the master of horror. That should tell us something.

SafetyFirst October 27, 2023 - 9:21 pm

Lock your doors, hug your kids. Don’t take anything for granted.

Mike_in_Maine October 27, 2023 - 9:59 pm

What is happening to our country? this is insane. Is nowhere safe anymore?

Sarah_W October 28, 2023 - 12:11 am

Just read this and my heart’s pounding. It’s terrifying to think this could happen anywhere, even in small towns. Lock your doors, people.


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