A woman embraces Gov. Janet Mills at a press conference.

Governor Janet Mills of Maine is embraced before she announces to the media that Robert Card, the suspect in two mass killings, was found dead on October 27, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

'Relieved But Not Happy': Maine Mass Shooting Suspect Found Dead

The discovery ended a two-day manhunt that had kept the city of Lewiston and the surrounding community on edge.

The man suspected of killing 18 people during a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday was found dead on Friday evening.

The body of the 40-year-old Robert Card was found at around 7:45 pm ET near the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls, Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said at a press conference a little after 10 pm, as the Lewiston Sun Journalreported. He appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The discovery ended a two-day man hunt that had kept Lewiston and the surrounding community on edge.

"Like many people, I'm breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing Card is no longer a threat to anyone," Maine Gov. Janet Mills said at the press conference at Lewiston City Hall.

Card allegedly opened fire on the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley and the Schemengees Bar & Grille at around 7 pm ET Wednesday evening, according to the Portland Press Herald. The shooting killed 18 people and injured 13. Three of those injured were still in critical condition as of Friday, the Sun Journal reported.

Among those killed were Joe Walker, who helped manage the bar and grill and attempted to stop the shooter with a butcher knife, his father and Auburn City Councilor Leroy Walker told reporters, and four members of the deaf community, according to The Associated Press. In total, two women, 15 men, and one 14-year-old boy were killed.

"I'm relieved but not happy," Lewiston resident April Stevens, who knew one of the victims, told AP. "There was too much death. Too many people were hurt. Relieved, yes, happy, no."

Lewiston and nearby Auburn were placed under a shelter-in-place order shortly after Card fled the scene Wednesday, according to the Portland Press Herald. That order was then expanded to Bowdoin Thursday morning and northern Sagadahoc and northern Androscoggin counties Thursday afternoon. The order was lifted at 5:23 p.m. ET Friday, roughly two hours before Card's body was found.

Card's motives remain unknown, according to AP. However, he recently told family members he had been hearing voices and had become increasingly fixated on the Lewiston bar and bowling alley, his family told law enforcement officials during the search. In July, Card, an Army reservist, was hospitalized for two weeks after his trainers in West Point, New York, became concerned over the state of his mental health. At the hospital, he said that he was hearing voices and expressed the desire to hurt other soldiers.

"Americans should not have to live like this."

Gun control advocacy group Giffords said on social media that it was unclear whether or not this history would have legally barred Card from owning a gun. Most gun laws only block people from owning guns if they have been "formally committed" to an institution, and it is not yet clear whether Card was. However, the group noted that Maine does not have a Red Flag law, which empowers family members or law enforcement to ask a court to remove a person's guns temporarily if they pose a threat to themselves or others. Maine currently has a Yellow Flag law, which only allows firearms to be removed if a person is taken into protective custody and a doctor agrees they pose a risk.

"When someone shows signs of harming themselves or others, you need to move quickly," Giffords wrote. "Maine's law has been slow and limited, which has rendered it unusable at times when it is critically needed."

The Lewiston shooting marked the 36th mass killing in the U.S. in 2023.

"Americans should not have to live like this," President Joe Biden said in a statement after Card's body was found. "I once again call on Republicans in Congress to fulfill their obligation to keep the American people safe. Until that day comes, I will continue to do everything in my power to end this gun violence epidemic. The Lewiston community—and all Americans—deserve nothing less."

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