Army Reserve Shut Down Facilities Within 100 Miles of Maine Shooting Amid Manhunt for Soldier Suspect

Police officer searches for suspect after deadly mass shootings in Maine
A police officer searches along railroad tracks near the Androscoggin River for the suspect in this week's deadly mass shootings, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, in Lisbon, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Army Reserve facilities were shut down within a 100-mile radius of the area in Maine where a soldier suspected of a mass shooting that killed 18 people remained on the run Friday, according to the service.

A sprawling manhunt was still underway for Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Robert Card, the prime suspect in the mass shooting at a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine. Police said Card recently reported mental health issues; threatened to "shoot up the National Guard base" in Saco, Maine; and had been committed to a mental health facility during the summer.

The shootings Wednesday night gripped the small Maine communities for two days as authorities ordered residents to shelter in place and searched for Card, who may have escaped from the grisly scene in a vehicle or a boat. Victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 76, were being identified as police blanketed the local towns and countryside.

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"As of 26 October, the Army Reserve has closed facilities within a 100-mile radius of Lewiston," Lt. Col. Addie Leonhardt, a service spokesperson, said in a statement. "We are committed to the safety of our Army Reserve soldiers, civilians, and families."

The shutdown included numerous armories, offices and recruiting stations. It was not immediately clear whether the order to close Army Reserve facilities had been lifted late Friday.

    Authorities on Friday did lift a shelter-in-place order for residents in the area and said that all victims had finally been identified even as the manhunt continued, according to The Associated Press. The search includes the Coast Guard, which was patrolling the surrounding waterways.

    Earlier this week, police released a photo showing the shooter holding a rifle at the bowling alley where victims were gunned down.

    Card's vehicle had been found near a boat ramp, and an intensive search of a local river by air and boat was underway, though it was unclear whether authorities had made any headway in locating the suspect, the news service said.

    Card is assigned to 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Saco, Maine -- just outside of where the shootings took place. He joined the Army in 2002 and had a seemingly mundane career serving as a petroleum supply specialist with no combat deployments.

    His most notable award is a single Army Achievement Medal. Some reports referred to him as a "firearms instructor," though it's unlikely that was in a military capacity because his background suggests he has minimal weapons training from the Army.

    The service immediately put out a "be on the lookout" alert for Card and suspended his Common Access Card, or CAC, eliminating his ability to get onto military bases.

    He was administered into mental health care this summer at a West Point, New York, hospital after erratic behavior, one source with direct knowledge of the situation told But it was unclear how long he was admitted for. Authorities said Card "heard voices" and made the threats against a National Guard base.

    Card has no obvious association with the National Guard, and it's possible that authorities conflated the two part-time service components. Images from surveillance cameras from the shooting showed the gunman using an AR-15-style rifle. Card's unit conducted an inventory of its weapons and found that none was missing.

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

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