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Authorities Detain Army Reservist Suspected in Maine Massacre for Psychological Assessment Following Unstable Conduct in July

by Gabriel Martinez
8 comments
Maine mass shooting

In mid-July, law enforcement officers took a U.S. Army reservist, suspected of murdering at least 18 individuals in Maine, for a psychological evaluation. This action was prompted by concerns from military officials regarding the man’s unstable behavior, according to an anonymous U.S. government source who spoke to The Big Big News.

Robert Card, a member of the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, raised alarm among military commanders during a training session at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. The commanders became apprehensive about Card’s mental well-being and contacted New York state police, who subsequently took Card to Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point for psychological assessment.

Law enforcement agencies have issued an arrest warrant for the 40-year-old Card, linked to a violent episode in Lewiston that resulted in mass panic. Maine State Police Col. William Ross announced that the warrant includes eight counts of murder, a number expected to rise as additional victims are identified.

A police memorandum, disseminated among law enforcement agencies as Card emerged as a person of interest, revealed that he had been admitted to a mental health institution for a fortnight in the summer of 2023. Although the document did not elaborate on his condition or treatment, it mentioned that Card had reported experiencing auditory hallucinations and had expressed intentions to commit violence at a military base.

Public records indicate that the phone number registered to Card is currently not in service.

In a related incident on Wednesday, an active shooter was reported at both Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley located approximately 4 miles away. The bowling alley was hosting a children’s league event at the time. A witness, identifying himself only as Brandon, described hearing around 10 shots, initially mistaking the first for a popped balloon. Realizing the gravity of the situation, he fled to hide within the machinery of the bowling alley.

Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city, has recently become a focal point for African immigration, notably from Somalia, altering the demographics of a city once predominantly white. The recent incident marks the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, according to a database maintained by The Big Big News and USA Today, in collaboration with Northeastern University.

In response to the tragedy, educational institutions including Bates and Bowdoin colleges, as well as the Gorham and Portland campuses of the University of Southern Maine, suspended their classes. Likewise, public buildings and schools in Portland and other areas closed as a precautionary measure.

Author Stephen King, a resident of Maine, expressed his outrage via social media, admonishing the lack of effective gun control measures and calling the situation “madness in the name of freedom.”

State laws in Maine do not require permits to carry firearms, reflecting a deeply ingrained culture of gun ownership tied to hunting and sport shooting traditions.

Diana Florence, a New York resident whose son attends Bates College, expressed her frustration with the ongoing issue of gun violence and mental health, stating, “Our children are paying the price.”

Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News journalists Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine, Michael Balsamo in New York, Darlene Superville and Lolita Baldor in Washington, Michael Casey in Boston, and Holly Ramer and Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Maine Massacre Army Reservist Evaluation

What led to the arrest warrant for Robert Card?

An arrest warrant has been issued for Robert Card, a 40-year-old U.S. Army reservist, in connection with a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. He is currently facing eight counts of murder, a number that is expected to rise as additional victims are identified.

When did military officials first become concerned about Robert Card’s behavior?

Military commanders in the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment became concerned about Robert Card’s erratic behavior in mid-July while the unit was training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. This prompted them to call in New York state police, who took Card to Keller Army Community Hospital for a psychological evaluation.

What is known about Robert Card’s mental health?

According to a police memorandum that circulated among law enforcement agencies, Robert Card had been admitted to a mental health facility for two weeks in the summer of 2023. The document revealed that he had been hearing voices and had made threats to commit violence at a military base. However, details about his treatment or condition have not been publicly disclosed.

Where did the Lewiston attacks occur?

The attacks occurred at two locations: Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley located approximately 4 miles away from the bar. The bowling alley was hosting a children’s league at the time of the attack.

How has the community responded to the attacks?

Educational institutions like Bates and Bowdoin colleges, as well as the Gorham and Portland campuses of the University of Southern Maine, have suspended classes. Public buildings and schools in Portland and other areas have also closed as a precautionary measure. Author Stephen King, a resident of Maine, expressed his views on social media, criticizing the lack of effective gun control measures.

How prevalent are such incidents in Maine and the United States?

This incident is the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, according to a database maintained by The Big Big News and USA Today, in collaboration with Northeastern University. For context, Maine recorded 29 homicides in the entire year of 2022.

What are Maine’s gun laws?

Maine does not require permits to carry firearms. The state has a longstanding culture of gun ownership that is tied to its traditions of hunting and sport shooting.

How has this incident affected families in the area?

Diana Florence, whose son attends Bates College, highlighted the emotional toll of the incident, stating that even if children are not directly killed or injured, the trauma will have a lasting impact. Ten-year-old Zoey Levesque, who was at the bowling alley during the attack, was grazed by a bullet and spoke about the shock and disbelief she felt.

More about Maine Massacre Army Reservist Evaluation

  • Maine Mass Shooting Incident Overview
  • U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment
  • Mental Health Evaluations in the U.S. Military
  • New York State Police Jurisdiction and Responsibilities
  • Gun Violence Statistics in the United States
  • Current Gun Laws in Maine
  • Bates College Official Statement on the Incident
  • Stephen King’s Social Media Response to the Shootings

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8 comments

CarlaM October 26, 2023 - 6:55 pm

Stephen King’s right. This is madness in the name of freedom. when will we ever learn?

Reply
MomofThree October 26, 2023 - 7:12 pm

my heart goes out to all the families affected. Just cant imagine what they’re going through right now. This needs to stop.

Reply
JohnDoe87 October 26, 2023 - 9:18 pm

Wow, this is insane. Cant believe something like this happened in Maine of all places. What’s goin on with the world…

Reply
FinanceGuru99 October 27, 2023 - 12:00 am

Sounds like there were a lot of warning signs here, especially the mental health eval in the summer. Why wasn’t this guy monitored more closely?

Reply
CivicConcern October 27, 2023 - 3:29 am

Bates and Bowdoin cancelled classes? Goes to show how far-reaching the impact of such an incident can be. Whole communities are traumatized, not just the victims.

Reply
TechieTom October 27, 2023 - 6:16 am

If he was flagged during military training, shouldn’t there have been follow-up actions? Feel like the system failed here.

Reply
HikerMaine October 27, 2023 - 6:19 am

Maine’s lax gun laws are a double-edged sword. Sure it’s part of the culture, but at what cost? It’s time for a serious rethink.

Reply
Emily_S October 27, 2023 - 4:59 pm

This is absolutely heartbreaking. The part about the kid getting grazed by a bullet, I mean, how can she ever feel safe again? smh

Reply

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