Maine Manhunt Underway for Army Reservist Suspected in Deadly Shooting Rampage

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unidentified gunman points a gun while entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine
In this image taken from video released by the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office, an unidentified gunman points a gun while entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. Maine State Police ordered residents in the state's second-largest city to shelter in place Wednesday night as the suspect remains at large. (Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The suspect in a mass shooting in Maine Wednesday night that killed 18 and injured at least 13 is a sergeant first class in the Army Reserve, according to the service.

A sprawling manhunt was underway Thursday morning for Robert R. Card, 40, who was identified as a "person of interest" after the shooting stretched across several locations -- including a bowling alley and bar -- in Lewiston, Maine. Card, who enlisted in 2002, serves as a petroleum supply specialist and has had no combat deployments, according to the Army.

Col. William Ross, the head of the Maine State Police, said that an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder was issued for Card at a press conference Thursday. Ross said more charges could be added as victims are identified.

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The attack gripped the small Maine community and triggered a shelter-in-place order Wednesday night as police sped through the streets and law enforcement fanned out on the manhunt.

At a press conference Thursday, Maine officials said authorities were still searching for Card. Maine State Police expanded their shelter in place order on Thursday morning. Lewiston, which is 30 miles north of Portland, is under shelter-in-place orders from police, in addition to the surrounding towns of Lisbon and Bowdoin.

"We are expanding the shelter in place order and school closings to include the town of Bowdoin. Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal, work to locate Robert Card," the state police said in a Facebook post.

Ross told reporters Thursday that the shooting left seven dead at a bowling alley, and eight were killed at a nearby bar and restaurant. Three more victims died in local hospitals, Ross added. Ten of the victims had not yet been identified.

The shootings plunged the area into chaos stretching into the early hours of the morning. Residents were sent shelter-in-place warnings to their phone. Police flooded the streets, scrambling to set up roadblocks and speeding to different locations where the shooter may have fled to.

There have been at least 565 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. The nonpartisan group defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four people were shot or killed, not including the shooter.

Widely published photos released by the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office appeared to show the gunman in a brown, hooded sweatshirt carrying an AR-15-style rifle in a bowling alley.

Card claimed on social media that he most recently served with 3rd Battalion, 304th Regiment, an Army Reserve unit headquartered in Saco, Maine -- just outside where the shootings took place. Its mission is to support training of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

His awards include an Army achievement medal, according to the service. It's a commonplace accolade that is awarded without much merit.

Card is a trained firearms instructor, according to police, though it was unclear Thursday morning whether that was a civilian position. He was never assigned to West Point as an instructor, according to an Army official familiar with the matter. His unit last supported training cadets in the summer, but Card did not run any instruction.

Card recently reported mental health issues, including threats to "shoot up the National Guard base" in Saco, Maine, police said. He was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer and was released.

No major National Guard bases are in the area, but there are numerous recruiting stations and armories for the Guard and Reserve.

He was last known to be driving a 2012 white Subaru Outback with a black bumper, according to police, with the Maine license plate 9246PD. Officials said the vehicle was found at a boat landing in Lisbon, Maine. The Lewiston Maine Police department released an image of the car Wednesday evening.

Steve Beynon and Konstantin Toropin reported from Washington, D.C.

Shawn Snow reported from Lewiston, Maine.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on X @StevenBeynon.

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on X @ktoropin.

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