A tragic and devastating incident unfolded in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday evening when a mass shooting at a local bowling alley and bar claimed the lives of at least 18 people. Law enforcement agencies are in a relentless search for the suspect, identified as 40-year-old Robert Card, who is now the subject of a statewide manhunt.
The horrifying events began at around 6:56 p.m. when the Auburn Communications Center received a distress call about an active shooter at Just-In-Time Recreation, a popular local establishment that houses a bowling alley, restaurant, and bar. Merely ten minutes later, several more calls poured in, reporting a shooter at Schemengees Bar & Grille, compounding the tragedy.
Maine State Police Col. William Ross confirmed the grim toll, revealing that the victims included six males and one female killed at the bowling alley and seven males shot dead outside Schemengees, with one fatality inside the bar. All the victims succumbed to apparent gunshot wounds, and medics transported several injured individuals to nearby hospitals, where three more lives were tragically lost. As of now, eight victims have been positively identified, but the number is expected to rise as more victims are identified.
Robert Card, the alleged perpetrator, is now the target of a massive manhunt. An arrest warrant has been issued for him, listing eight counts of murder, a number that is likely to increase as the investigation progresses. Authorities have described Card as armed and dangerous, warning the public not to approach him. Lewiston Police have shared photographs of a man wearing a brown sweatshirt and dark pants entering a building while holding a semiautomatic rifle.
The incident prompted Maine State Police to activate shelter-in-place orders and led to school cancellations in several surrounding cities, as authorities work diligently to ensure the safety of the community.
In a shocking revelation, it has come to light that Robert Card worked as a firearms instructor and was enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. Reports suggest that he had spent two weeks in a mental health facility and had expressed disturbing intentions of carrying out a shooting at the military base where he worked in Saco, Maine, citing hearing voices and threats.
The Just-In-Time Recreation management expressed their profound grief and disbelief in a statement, saying, “None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is. We are devastated for our community and our staff. We lost some amazing and whole-hearted people from our bowling family and community last night. There are no words to fix this or make it better. We are praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts.”
As the community of Lewiston, Maine, grapples with the aftermath of this senseless act of violence, the nation is left in shock, and the search for Robert Card continues. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time.