A murder warrant has been issued for a suspect in connection with a mass shooting at a bowling alley and restaurant in Maine that left at least 18 people dead and another 13 injured on Wednesday night.
During a press conference on Thursday, Maine Gov. Janet Mills addressed the shooting at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-in-Time (previously “Sparetime”) Recreation, two locations in Lewiston.
“This city did not deserve this terrible assault on its citizens, on its peace of mind, on its sense of security,” Mills said, per the Associated Press.
The Lewiston Police Department identified 40-year-old Robert R. Card as a “person of interest” in a Wednesday night Facebook post, adding that Card “should be considered armed and dangerous.” By Thursday morning, Card was listed as a suspect.
Col. William Ross of the Maine State Police said a warrant has been issued for Card on eight counts of murder, but more counts will be added once the remaining 10 victims are identified, per the AP.
A Maine law enforcement bulletin reportedly stated that Card was committed to a mental health facility over the summer, and he had recently said he was “hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.,” according to Fox 4 KDFW.
The bulletin added that Card is a “trained firearms instructor believed to be in the Army Reserve stationed out of Saco, ME.”
A shelter-in-place advisory was issued for Lewiston on Wednesday evening, where residents were told to “stay inside your home with the doors locked.” Around midnight, the advisory was extended to nearby Lisbon after police discovered Card’s white Subaru Outback close to a boat dock, according to Fox 4.
On Thursday, schools and businesses remained closed in Lewiston and surrounding areas as the search for the suspect continued.
President Joe Biden released a statement about the shooting on Thursday, saying that he and the first lady are “praying for the Americans who’ve lost their lives, for those still in critical care, and for the families, survivors, and community members enduring shock and grief.”
“As I told Maine Governor Janet Mills, Senators Collins and King, and Congressman Golden last night, I have directed my administration to provide everything that is needed to support the people of Maine. We will continue to be there every step of the way,” added Biden in the statement.
Police began receiving calls about the shooting on Wednesday night around 6:56 p.m. at Just-in-Time Recreation, with more calls coming in around 7:08 p.m. about a shooter at Schemengees Bar and Gich, about four miles away, according to ABC News.
One person, who identified himself as Brandon, was at Just-in-Time when the shooting began. He said he initially thought that balloons were popping.
“I had my back turned to the door. And as soon as I turned and saw it was not a balloon — he was holding a weapon — I just booked it,” he told the AP.
Brandon said he hid inside one of the machines to avoid being seen by the shooter.