By Zachary Stieber
At least 18 people were killed in a mass shooting in Maine on Oct. 25, and authorities identified a suspect named Robert Card on Oct. 26.
Here’s what we know about Mr. Card.
Still At Large
The suspect is not yet in custody, officials said during a press conference on Oct. 26.
“Our reality for today is that this suspect was still at large,” Mike Sauschuck, who oversees Maine’s public safety bureaus, told reporters.
“There’s still an active search for the suspect in question,” he added later.
Mr. Card was initially identified late on Oct. 25 as a person of interest, but he’s now a suspect. Arrest warrants for murder have been issued.
More than 350 people from a number of agencies, including New Hampshire State Police, are involved in the search, the Maine State Police said. Authorities have already found a vehicle belonging to Mr. Card.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills said, “The full weight of my administration is behind law enforcement efforts to capture Mr. Card; to hold whoever’s responsible for this atrocity accountable under the full force of state and federal law; and to seek full justice for the victims and their families.”
Treated for Mental Health Issues
Before the shooting, Mr. Card was treated for mental health problems, according to a police bulletin.
Mr. Card, according to law enforcement, “recently reported mental health issues” including “hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard base in Saco, ME,” the bulletin stated.
Mr. Card was also admitted to an unspecified facility for mental health treatment for two weeks over the summer, authorities said.
Army officials confirmed to news outlets that Mr. Card is part of the Army Reserve.
He enlisted in 2002 and has never been deployed.
Mr. Card is “a trained firearms instructor,” law enforcement said.
However, officials told the Boston Globe that there was actually “no indication that Card attended any advanced weaponry course.”
Authorities in alerts described Mr. Card as “armed and dangerous.”
Social Media Activity
Archived posts from accounts believed to belong to Mr. Card showed his comments on various stories.
When women’s basketball player Brittney Griner was released by Russia in a prisoner exchange, Mr. Card noted that the other prisoner exchanged was a mass murderer.
“Great job, keep up the good work,” he wrote.
Mr. Page also liked a post from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that blamed President Joe Biden for soaring inflation.
Several other posts shared or liked by Mr. Card discussed faulting people who shoot guns, not the guns themselves.
Motive Not Disclosed
Authorities on Oct. 26 said they would discuss a possible motive down the road, after a reporter asked how a person with mental health issues still possessed guns.
“We will be reviewing that information as we move forward. But that’s not an answer that we’re prepared to get today, because that leads to motive,” Mr. Sauschuck said. “You’re talking about behavioral health issues and how that impacts the situation. I would expect you’ll hear back from us on that in the future.”
When another reporter asked whether there had been a triggering event, Mr. Sauschuck said that was always a concern.
Details on Shooting
The shooting started just before 7 p.m. at Spare Time Recreation in Lewiston in southwest Maine.
Mr. Card is believed to have then gone to nearby Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant and opened fire.
Police officials distributed images captured of the suspect and were able to identify him as Mr. Card.
Gov. Mills told reporters the number of those killed has risen to 18, with another 13 injured.
Zoey Levesque was among those struck who survived.
“We were scared. And then I thought I was bleeding. And they were like, ‘I don’t think you are.’ And then my pants had like a bullet thing in it, and I looked, and it wasn’t deep, it was just like a scrape,” she told WMUR. “I never thought I would grow up and get a bullet in my leg and it’s just like why, like, why do people do this?”
Riley Dumont recounted that her 11-year-old daughter was bowling when she heard gunshots.
“I kind of like laid on top of her, and my mom was kind of on top of me. We had two other kids with us and two other mothers as well,” she said. “So we were all just trying to support each other in the moment.”