Tragic mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, as manhunt intensifies. Updates on suspect, casualties, and response.
A large-scale police operation is currently underway in Lewiston, Maine, and its surrounding areas, as authorities intensively search for a man connected to a series of mass shootings that took place at both a bar and a bowling alley. Reports indicate a distressing death toll ranging from 16 to 22, with dozens more reported injured. The specific number of casualties has not been disclosed by officials.
The person of interest in this case is identified as 40-year-old Robert R. Card. Law enforcement’s attention was drawn to Card after he posted photos on Facebook displaying an individual wielding what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. The images, captured at one of the crime scenes on Wednesday, portray a bearded man in a brown hoodie and jeans, holding the weapon in a firing position.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck addressed the media, emphasizing the magnitude of the investigation involving hundreds of police officers across the state of Maine. Despite confirming multiple casualties, officials have refrained from disclosing specific figures.
Media reports suggest that a law enforcement bulletin from Maine identified Card as a trained firearms instructor and U.S. Army reserve member who had recently reported mental health issues, including hearing voices. The bulletin also alleged that Card had made threats to shoot up a National Guard base. It further claimed that Card had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer of 2023.
Contrary to initial reports, Walmart issued a statement denying any shooting at their distribution center. Meanwhile, the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston has acknowledged responding to a mass casualty event and is collaborating with other area hospitals to manage patients.
In response to the unfolding tragedy, President Joe Biden has been briefed and is set to receive continuous updates. He has personally reached out to Maine Governor Janet Mills, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Congressman Jared Golden, offering full federal support in the aftermath of the attack.
If the death toll of 22 is confirmed, this incident would mark the deadliest in the United States since at least August 2019, when a gunman targeted shoppers at an El Paso Walmart. The broader context reveals a concerning rise in mass shootings, with projections indicating 679 such incidents in 2023, following the surge that began with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history remains the tragic 2017 event in Las Vegas, where 58 people lost their lives.