Maine shootings: Manhunt for Lewiston suspect focused near school


Hundreds of police officers are scouring the US state of Maine for a suspect wanted in connection with mass shootings that killed at least 22 people and left dozens injured.

State and local police named Robert Card, 40, as a person of interest after a gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, the second largest city in Maine.

Local media have reported the search of Card is focused behind a secondary school in Lisbon Falls near the Androscoggin River with a helicopter involved.

Journalist Sam Rogers reported two Portland Police Department tactical trucks have arrived at Lisbon High School with “officers in full gear”.

“We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case,” Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told a news conference.

Local media reported that a Maine law enforcement bulletin identified Card as a trained firearms instructor and member of the US Army reserve who recently reported that he had mental health issues, including hearing voices.

Follow the latest updates


09:27 AM BST

Mother’s anxious wait for news on son in critical condition

Jessica Karcher’s 23-year-old son Justin is among those left in critical condition after being wounded in the shooting.

She told the Washington Post her son had been shot four times at Schemengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston.

“I just called the hospital for an update. And of course, they don’t have one,” she said.

For the Karcher family, Wednesday’s mass shooting was the second time they had suffered tragedy.

In 2019, Justin watched as a man fatally shot his father, Jean Donald Fournier, in a Walmart car park.

“His father passed away in front of him,” she said.


09:09 AM BST

Restaurant staff – ‘My heart is crushed’

Staff at Schemengees Bar and Grill, one of the two locations targeted by a gunman in Lewiston, Maine, posted a message of grief on its Facebook page.

The post read:

My heart is crushed. I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turn upside down for no good reason.

We loss great people in this community. How can we make any sense of this.

Sending out prayers to everyone.

Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant hosts parties and corporate events with an arcade area that includes dart boards and pool tables, according to its website.

The restaurant is equipped with 10 pool tables, 14 dart boards and dozens of TVs to screen major sporting events.


08:57 AM BST

Massachusetts State Police involved in search for Card

Massachusetts State Police will be stationed along the Maine border in the search for Robert Card, it has been reported.

Card is believed to have previous ties to Massachusetts, although the exact area is not yet known, meaning police have been mobilised in the state.


08:41 AM BST

Around 20 children in bowling alley at time of attack

Justin Juray, who owns the bowling alley where the shooting took place, told the New York Times that between 100 and 150 people, including 20 children, were in the building at the time.

One woman, Riley Dumont, said her 11-year-old daughter was bowling with other children when she heard several gunshots. The family huddled together in a corner at the bowling alley.

“I was laying on top of my daughter. My mother was laying on top of me,” Ms Dumont told ABC News, adding that she saw “three or four” victims.

While Melinda Small, the owner of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, said her staff immediately locked their doors and moved all 25 customers and employees away from the doors after a customer reported hearing about the shooting at the bowling alley less than a quarter-mile away around 7pm local time.

“I am honestly in a state of shock. I am blessed that my team responded quickly and everyone is safe,” Ms Small told The Associated Press.

“But at the same time, my heart is broken for this area and for what everyone is dealing with. I just feel numb.”


08:37 AM BST

Lewiston shootings is deadliest US attack in four years

At least 22 people were killed and dozens more were injured in a mass shooting spree in Maine on Wednesday evening, in what is the deadliest attack on US soil in four years.

Multiple reports, citing police sources, said at least 22 people were killed and up to 60 were injured – the worst death toll since the same number were shot in a Walmart store in El Paso in August 2019.

The number of deaths is staggering for a state that in 2022 had 29 murders the entire year.

The deadliest US mass shooting on record is the massacre of 58 people by a gunman firing on a Las Vegas country music festival from a high-rise hotel perch in 2017.


08:06 AM BST

Maine State Police to hold press conference on Thursday morning

Police in Maine have announced a press conference has been scheduled for 10.30am local time (3.30pm UK time) at Lewiston City Hall.


07:59 AM BST

Suspect may have registered jetski

Robert Card, the person of interest wanted in connection with the mass shooting in Maine, may be using a jetski amid a huge manhunt in the state, it has been suggested.

Card, who police identified following shootings in a restaurant and bowling alley in Lewiston, is believed to have abandoned a white SUV at a boat launch at the Androscoggin River.

Local media have now reported Card appeared to have registered a jetski in June. Police are reportedly focusing search efforts on an area near the river in Lisbon Falls with a helicopter hovering near a secondary school.

Steve Robinson, editor-in-chief of The Maine Wire, tweeted: “Robert Card, the person of interest in the Lewiston shooting, appears to have registered a jetski in June.

“Relevant since police/media report his car was found abandoned at a boat launch on the Androscoggin River.”


07:41 AM BST

‘Armed and dangerous’: What we know about Robert Card

Robert CardRobert Card

Robert Card is at the centre of a huge manhunt in the US state of Maine

Card is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army ReserveCard is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve

Card is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve

Lewiston police have identified Robert Card, 40, as a person of interest following one of the deadliest mass shootings on US soil.

Police are urging the public to contact law enforcement if they have information about Card’s whereabouts.

Law enforcement officials in Maine told CNN that Card is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve.

Police found a white SUV they believe Card drove to the town of Lisbon, about 7 miles (11 km) to the southeast, and Sauschuck said people were asked to remain indoors in both Lewiston and Lisbon.

Maine public safety official Mike Sauschuck told reporters: “Card is considered armed and dangerous.

“He is a person of interest, however, and that’s what we’ll label them at moving forward until that changes. If people see him, they should not approach Card or make contact with him in any way.”

“We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case, to locate Mr Card, who, again, is a person of interest, and a person of interest only.”


07:35 AM BST

Search for gunman near secondary school

Police searching for a suspect following a mass shooting in Maine are searching near a secondary school in Lisbon Falls, according to local media.

WMTWTV, a Maine-based outlet, is reporting that officers are focusing efforts on a school near the Androscoggin River with a helicopter also involved in the search.

It tweeted: “LEWISTON SHOOTING UPDATE: Police have shifted their search efforts to Lisbon Falls and the helicopter has been focused on an area behind the high school near the Androscoggin River.”

Police in Maine have identified Robert Card as someone they want to speak to following shootings at a restaurant and bowling alley in Lewiston.

Journalist Sam Rogers reported two Portland Police Department tactical trucks have arrived at Lisbon High School with “officers in full gear”.


07:20 AM BST

Witness – ‘I was laying on top of daughter – my mother was laying on me’

Stunned witnesses have told how they lay on top of their relatives to protect them after a gunman opened fire in a bowling alley in front of children.

Riley Dumont said her 11-year-old daughter was bowling with other children when she heard several gunshots.
The family huddled together in a corner at the bowling alley.

“I was laying on top of my daughter. My mother was laying on top of me,” Ms Dumont told ABC News, adding that she saw “three or four” victims.

Billie Jayne Cooke told the BBC how she heard “one siren after another” as she first heard of the attack when leaving a public event on Wednesday evening.

“I’ve never heard so much activity in my life in this city. We have police from all over the state, from out of the state, coming up.

“It’s horrible. You just don’t think that’s ever going to happen – and it did.”


07:12 AM BST

Lewiston mass shooting: What we know so far

Police respond to a shooting in Lewiston, MainePolice respond to a shooting in Lewiston, Maine

Police respond to a shooting in Lewiston, Maine

Mass shooting in bowling alley and restaurant

  • Police in Maine have responded to two shooting incidents in the city of Lewiston at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley on Mollison Way, and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street.

  • State officials say the shootings started just before 7pm.

  • Lewiston city councillor Robert McCarthy told CNN that law enforcement had “confirmed 22 dead, many, many more injured”.

Suspect identified

  • Lewiston police have identified Robert Card, 40, as a person of interest, saying he should be “considered armed and dangerous.”

  • Police are urging the public to contact law enforcement if they have information about Card’s whereabouts. Law enforcement officials in Maine tell CNN that Card is a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve.

  • Authorities have released images of the suspect in brown clothing entering the bowling alley with a high-powered assault rifle

Manhunt under way

  • Hundreds of police have fanned out across the state of Maine hunting for Card

  • Police found a white SUV they believe Card drove to the town of Lisbon, about 7 miles (11 km) to the southeast, and Sauschuck said people were asked to remain indoors in both Lewiston and Lisbon.

  • US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting by Maine Governor Janet Mills and the White House has offered “full federal support” to state officials.


06:59 AM BST

Schools to remain closed on Thursday

Lewiston residents have been ordered to shelter at homeLewiston residents have been ordered to shelter at home

Lewiston residents have been ordered to shelter at home

Schools in Lewiston will remain closed on Thursday following the mass shooting in the city which has left at least 22 people dead and dozens more injured.

In a statement, Lewiston Public Schools said there remained a lot of unknown information at this time as it urged people to “stay close to your loved ones”.

The statement in full:

Hello, There will not be school tomorrow. At this time, there will be no activity at Lewiston Schools Thursday October 26, 2023. There remains a lot of unknowns at this time.

Information moves quickly but not always accurately. Please continue to shelter in place or get to safety. We will continue to update you with information and next steps as appropriate.

Stay close to your loved ones. Embrace them. Our prayers go out to those who lost someone tonight. Our prayers go out to all those working to stop further loss of life.

We will provide updates.


06:53 AM BST

In pictures: Gunman storms bowling alley

These images show the moment the gunman entered a bowling alley in Lewiston .

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office released photogrpahs of the suspect on its Facebook page that showed a man walking into an establishment with a weapon raised to his shoulder.

Authorities said the shooting started just before 7pm local time.

GunmanGunman

The gunman is seen pointing his weapon in Sparetime Recreation

The shooting started at around 7pmThe shooting started at around 7pm

Authorities say the shooting started at around 7pm

A man identified as a suspect by police points what appears to be a semiautomatic rifleA man identified as a suspect by police points what appears to be a semiautomatic rifle

The gunman appears to be carrying a semi-automatic rifle


06:42 AM BST

President Biden briefed on shootings

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the mass shooting following a conversation with Maine Governor Janet Mills.

A White House statement read: “The President spoke by phone individually to Maine Governor Janet Mills, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Congressman Jared Golden about the shooting in Lewiston, Maine and offered full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack”.

Wednesday’s death toll was staggering for a state that in 2022 had 29 homicides the entire year.


06:39 AM BST

Army firearms instructor named as person of interest

Lewiston Maine Police Department shows Robert CardLewiston Maine Police Department shows Robert Card

Robert Card has been identified as a person of interest by police in Lewiston

State and local police named Robert R. Card, 40, as a person of interest in the case after previously sharing photos of a man wielding what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle.

According to a police intelligence bulletin, seen by the Associated Press news agency, Mr Card is a trained firearms instructor at a US Army Reserve facility in Maine who was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks earlier this year.

The document also said Mr Card had reported hearing voices and had threatened to carry out a shooting at the military training base in Saco, Maine.


06:38 AM BST

Police search for gunman

Hundreds of police are searching the city of Lewiston and surrounding areas of Maine for a suspect wanted in connection with mass shootings that killed at least 22 people and left dozens injured.

“We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case,” Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told a news conference.

A spokesperson for Maine Department of Public Safety urged residents to stay in their homes with their doors locked.

“Law enforcement is currently investigating at two locations right now,” Shannon Moss said. “Again please stay off the streets and allow law enforcement to diffuse the situation.”

Gov. Janet Mills released a statement echoing those instructions. She said she had been briefed on the situation and will remain in close contact with public safety officials.


06:37 AM BST

Good morning

The Telegraph will be providing live updates on the mass shooting spree in Maine which has resulted in the deaths of at least 22 people while dozens more have been injured.

State police in Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city, confirmed an active shooter had attacked a restaurant and bowling alley in what is the deadliest attack on US soil in four years.

A manhunt involving hundreds of police is currently under way to find the shooter who remains at large.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.





Source link