Maine Begins Process of Recovery and Seeks Explanations After Suspected Mass Murderer is Discovered Deceased

by Madison Thomas
Maine Mass Shooting Warning Signs

On Saturday, officials revealed that Maine law enforcement had conducted two previous searches at a local recycling facility before ultimately locating the body of Robert Card, the man accused of taking the lives of 18 individuals in Lewiston.

Michael Sauschuck, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, disclosed that special teams, including a tactical squad, had initially examined the Maine Recycling Corp. premises on Thursday night. A separate state police team revisited the facility on Friday, discovering Card’s body in an area that had not previously been examined.

Sauschuck confirmed that the cause of Card’s death appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. During a press briefing on Saturday, he also noted that Card’s family had been highly cooperative with law enforcement, contacting investigators shortly after surveillance images of the alleged shooter were released. “In fact, the first three individuals to contact us were members of Card’s family,” stated Sauschuck.

The 40-year-old suspect, a native of Bowdoin and a firearms instructor, was not only implicated in the 18 fatalities but also in the injuring of 13 others during a violent episode at a Lewiston bowling alley and bar on Wednesday evening.

In a Friday night press conference, Maine Governor Janet Mills called for the state’s healing process to commence. “Like many, I am experiencing a sense of relief tonight, secure in the knowledge that Robert Card no longer poses a threat,” Governor Mills remarked.

After a prolonged citywide lockdown, Lewiston’s streets gradually came back to life on Saturday morning. Local residents resumed their daily routines, jogging, walking their dogs, and patronizing shops that had been shuttered since the tragedy. Whitney Pelletier, who owns a downtown café called Forage, displayed a hand-made “Lewiston Strong” sign on her establishment’s glass door. “The fear I had living downtown has now been supplanted by a deep sadness,” she said.

President Joe Biden issued a statement urging Congress to take legislative action on gun violence. The events in Maine, a state with a population of 1.3 million that generally sees low rates of violent crime, have shocked the community. Lewiston and its surrounding areas had been in a state of lockdown, with a robust law enforcement presence involving hundreds of police officers, sheriff’s deputies, FBI agents, and others.

Further details about Card, a U.S. Army reservist, were disclosed. Leo Madden, who managed the Maine Recycling Corp. for several years, told the Associated Press that Card had been an employee for a few years but did not stand out in any particular way. Last summer, Card had been subjected to a mental health evaluation following erratic behavior during military training. A federal bulletin revealed that he had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks after reporting auditory hallucinations and threatening to carry out an attack on a military base.

In the wake of the tragic events, law enforcement agencies are offering help and support to the victims through a Family Assistance Center in Lewiston. At least four members of the deaf community were among those killed in the shooting, according to the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf.

Authorities have thus far not divulged additional details about the firearms used in the attack, except to state that at least one rifle was involved. A suicide note addressed to Card’s son was found, although it did not shed light on his motivations for the attack.

In a state where hunting is extremely popular, the activity had been temporarily prohibited in several communities. However, following the confirmation of Card’s death, an alert was issued stating that hunting could resume.

The Lewiston incident marks the 36th mass killing in the United States for the current year, according to a database maintained collaboratively by The Big Big News, USA Today, and Northeastern University.

The report included contributions from multiple journalists, including those based in Concord, New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Boston.

(Note: The above text is a paraphrase and should not be considered a factual recounting of actual events. It is intended for illustration and discussion purposes.)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Aftermath of Maine mass shooting

What happened in Lewiston, Maine?

A man named Robert Card is suspected of killing 18 people and injuring 13 others in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston. His body was later found at a local recycling center.

Who was Robert Card?

Robert Card was a 40-year-old firearms instructor from Bowdoin, Maine. He was also a U.S. Army reservist who had undergone a mental health evaluation last summer due to erratic behavior.

How did law enforcement locate Robert Card?

Law enforcement conducted multiple searches at the Maine Recycling Corp. facility. After two prior unsuccessful attempts, a state police team located Card’s body in an area that had not previously been searched.

What is the official cause of Robert Card’s death?

The official cause of Card’s death appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as confirmed by Michael Sauschuck, the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

How has the local community reacted to the event?

The community has been in a state of lockdown since the incident but began returning to a semblance of normalcy after Card’s body was found. Local businesses displayed signs of community strength, such as “Lewiston Strong.”

What has been the governmental response to the incident?

Maine Governor Janet Mills called for the beginning of the healing process in a press conference. President Joe Biden also issued a statement urging Congress to act on gun violence.

Were there any warning signs regarding Robert Card’s mental health?

Yes, Card had been committed to a mental health facility last summer after exhibiting erratic behavior. He had reported hearing voices and had made threats to shoot up a military base.

What actions are being taken to assist the victims?

The Maine Department of Public Safety has opened a Family Assistance Center in Lewiston to offer help and support to the victims and their families.

What does this incident mean for gun violence in the United States?

This incident marks the 36th mass killing in the U.S. for the current year and has sparked a renewed call for legislative action to address gun violence.

Has hunting resumed in the state following the incident?

Yes, a public safety alert was issued after Card’s body was found, stating that hunting, which had been temporarily banned, may now resume.

More about Aftermath of Maine mass shooting

  • Maine Department of Public Safety
  • U.S. Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment
  • Statement from President Joe Biden on Gun Violence
  • Data on U.S. Mass Shootings in Current Year
  • Maine Educational Center for the Deaf’s Statement
  • Lewiston Community Reactions and Updates
  • History of Gun Violence Legislation in the U.S.
  • FBI’s Role in Mass Shooting Investigations

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Michael O'Reilly October 28, 2023 - 7:28 pm

Heartbreaking, really. But props to law enforcement for their hard work. it’s not an easy job, trust me.

Emily Davis October 29, 2023 - 12:22 am

This is a tragedy, no doubt about it. But we also need to talk bout mental health, guys. Card had signs, why wasnt it caught?

John Smith October 29, 2023 - 9:52 am

Can’t believe this happened in Maine of all places. thought we were safe here. What’s the world coming to?

Sarah Anderson October 29, 2023 - 12:35 pm

Wow, just wow. I live 10 mins from Lewiston and this is shocking. Can’t even walk my dog in peace now. when will this end?

Robert Greene October 29, 2023 - 1:06 pm

Good reporting but I wanna know more about what led to this. guns don’t just go off, people pull the triggers. What made him snap?


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