At least 18 killed in shootings in Lewiston: What we know so far

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Hundreds of law enforcement officers for a second day searched for mass shooting suspect Robert Card, accused of killing 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, in the nation’s latest instance of gunfire at public places as Americans went about their lives.

An arrest warrant for eight counts of murder — because only eight identifications of the 18 dead had been made — has been issued, Maine State police said Thursday morning.

Search warrants were carried out in Bowdoin, the town east of Lewiston where Card lived, authorities said.

Police broadcast messages over loudspeakers during the search warrants, which a spokesperson for Maine State Police said was routine during the execution of warrants like them.

Residents in Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city but still a small one at around 37,000, were told for a second day to shelter in place. In Lisbon, where Card’s SUV was found, a similar warning was issued. Schools would be closed Friday, both cities said.

Meanwhile, stories of the dead began to emerge.

Joseph “Joey” Walker was a manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille, one of the two businesses where the gunman opened fire at around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Walker was shot to death, his father, Leroy Walker Sr., said. He described waiting at the hospital in Lewiston where almost all the shooting patients were taken, hoping for word — along with others.

“It was awful to see the families sitting there. None of them knew nothing, just like me, they knew nothing,” Leroy Walker said.

He said the family was told that Walker died a hero, because he grabbed a butcher knife and went to confront the gunman. Leroy Walker said that makes his grief even worse.

“My kid was a super kid with people,” he said.

At the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley, the other place targeted by the gunman that night, it was youth night when the shooter entered and started firing.

Table of Contents

What we know about the shootings

  • At least 18 people are dead and 13 others are injured after shootings at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine.
  • Police named Robert Card, 40, as a suspect in the shootings, and an arrest warrant on murder charges has been issued. He remains at large.
  • Seven people were found dead at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, eight were found dead at Schemengees Bar and Grille, and three were pronounced dead at area hospitals.
  • Officials have urged residents of Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city, about 30 miles north of Portland, and nearby Auburn to shelter in place. Residents in other communities have also been asked to stay put, and many schools and businesses are closed.
  • NBC News’ Lester Holt, Emilie Ikeda, Sam Brock, Emma Barnett, Rehema Ellis, Antonia Hylton, George Solis, Alex Seitz-Wald, Minyvonne Burke and Erik Ortiz are reporting from Maine.

37d ago / 7:25 AM UTC

NBC News

Vigils, memorials, and communities in shock due to gun violence are all to familiar in the U.S.

The mass shooting in Lewiston was 565th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2023 and the deadliest so far this year, according the Gun Violence Archive, which collates data from law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources.

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Copied37d ago / 6:40 AM UTC

A mass shooting roils a Maine city where ‘everybody kind of knows everybody’

Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — When chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel woke up Thursday, the morning after the worst mass shooting in Maine’s history, and realized most businesses would be closed, they wondered how police hunting the killer and the medical staff members treating the wounded would find anything to eat. 

So they decided to open their Jamaican food truck exclusively for first responders, free of charge, making it one of the only places in town with a hot meal available.

The gesture like that by a Black immigrant family in the whitest state in the country is emblematic, Lewiston’s boosters say, of how a struggling postindustrial mill town has been revived in part by a recent influx of non-European immigrants.

The shooting will be an inflection point for a small city and state that are both frequently ranked among the safest in the country after a single night of bloodshed that resulted in roughly the annual number of homicides statewide.

“We’re always talking about how this kind of thing doesn’t happen here,” said Julien Leavitt, standing outside his house, the first one near a police cordon blocking access to one of the shooting sites. “And then it did.”

Read the full story here.

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Copied37d ago / 5:46 AM UTC

Inside the Maine hospital that treated shooting victims

Reuters

LEWISTON, Maine — Dr. Richard King was driving home from the Central Maine Medical Center on Wednesday night when he received an urgent call from a fellow trauma surgeon alerting him that victims of a mass casualty event were flooding the hospital.

King, the trauma medical director, immediately turned around. He arrived to discover what he later described in an interview as a nightmarish scene.

Within minutes, King went to work performing a “damage control” surgery on one gunshot victim to stop the bleeding and save the victim’s life before he hustled into a different operating room to begin work on another.

“It was a situation of organized chaos,” King said. “It was really quite surreal. We read about these events all too frequently, and then to be a part of one …”

King told Reuters by phone that the 250-bed medical center, which has undergone mass casualty event training, had never seen anything like the fallout from the Lewiston shooting.

It felt like the whole hospital rushed to help, he said, and more than 30 surgeons arrived within minutes of the first ambulances.

As one victim after another was rushed into the emergency room — more than a dozen gunshot victims eventually arrived — doctors grew concerned about the blood supply.

The surgeons did all they could to stem the loss of blood, and more blood was secured from nearby hospitals, he said.

“We really just did what we would normally do, just at maximum capacity and with maximum effort,” King said. “It was inspiring to see how all our staff responded, how everybody stepped up to the plate.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:41 AM UTC

Neighbor of suspect Robert Card’s family says he seemed ‘perfectly normal’ weeks ago

Reuters and Phil Helsel

There was nothing amiss when Rick Goddard last saw Robert Card at Card’s father’s property in Maine.

“The last time I saw him was two weeks ago when he was helping his father hay this field right here. Perfectly normal,” Goddard said on video from the Reuters news agency.

“I mean, there was nothing out of the norm,” said Goddard, 44. “Hard-working farming family doing their thing, you know, nothing out of the ordinary.”

Card is now the most wanted man in Maine.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel are searching for Card, who is a suspect in mass shootings in Lewiston that left 18 people dead.

“Nothing’s going to be the same,” Goddard said. “I feel so bad for his father, what he’s going to go through, the rest of his family. You know, it’s not their fault, but it’s going to fall on them. There’s no getting around it. It’s going to fall on them.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:33 AM UTC

Emilie Ikeda

Many families have spent hours sheltering in place as the manhunt continues more than 24 hours after the deadly shootings in Lewiston.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills at a news conference called the shootings an assault on Lewiston’s citizens, its peace of mind and its sense of security.

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Copied37d ago / 2:48 AM UTC

It was youth night at a Maine bowling alley when gunfire erupted

Daniella Silva, George Solis and Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — It was supposed to be a night of fun competition.

A group of young people gathered at a bowling alley in Lewiston on Wednesday evening for youth league matches. Four miles away, members of a cornhole team for deaf people hosted an evening of games.

But before long, the revelry was interrupted by gunfire.

A shooter unleashed a barrage of bullets on the bowling event at Just-in-Time Recreation, where he killed seven people, before he moved on to Schemengees Bar and Grille about 12 minutes later, where he killed eight more. The death toll stands at 18, including those who died later at hospitals.

“They’re just innocent people out for a night of bowling,” said Kim McConville, whose cousin and his 14-year-old son were killed at the bowling alley. “This was a children’s event. Who expects a shooter to go into a children’s event?”

Read the full story here.

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Copied37d ago / 2:06 AM UTC

John Mulaney and Pete Davidson postpone Maine shows after shooting

Phil Helsel

Comedians John Mulaney and Pete Davidson said today they are postponing planned shows in Maine this weekend because of the shootings in Lewiston.

“We are devastated by the events in Lewiston. Shows scheduled for this weekend in Maine on Saturday, 10/28 and Sunday, 10/29 have been postponed. We are thinking of you all,” they said on X.

The show, “John & Pete,” was scheduled for Portland on Saturday and Bangor on Sunday.

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Copied37d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

Cynthia McFadden

NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden grew up in Auburn, Maine, across the river from Lewiston, and tonight the close-knit communities are hurting.

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Copied37d ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Maine launches website to help people access mental health support

Phil Helsel

Maine Gov. Janet Mills said her administration is launching a website to make it easier for those affected by the mass shootings to get mental health support.

“Incidents of mass violence can lead to a range of emotional reactions, including anxiety, fear, anger, despair and a sense of helplessness that may begin immediately or in the days or weeks following the event,” the website says.

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Copied37d ago / 12:39 AM UTC

Bar shooting suspect had been there before, father of slain manager says

Lester Holt

Robert Card, the man suspected of killing 18 people in mass shootings at a bar and a bowling alley, had been to the bar before, the father of the slain manager there said.

“All of the people over there know him,” Leroy Walker told NBC News’ Lester Holt. “He would actually come to Schemengees; he’d been there off and on.”

Walker said his son, Joseph “Joey” Walker, who was the manager at Schemengees, was killed. Leroy Walker said he did not know Card personally but had seen him before.

The manhunt for Card continues.

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Copied37d ago / 12:28 AM UTC

Maine AG ready to ‘vigorously prosecute these heinous acts’

Abigail Russ

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said that his “heart continues to ache for the loss of life and infliction of harm perpetrated on the people of Lewiston last night” and that his office is “prepared to vigorously prosecute these heinous acts of violence.”

“As citizens across this state mourn the tragic and senseless events that occurred almost 24 hours ago, it is important to give law enforcement the space it requires to conduct its work in this continuing and developing situation,” Frey said in a statement.

He encouraged the public to continue abiding by all shelter-in-place orders.

“Our public safety and law enforcement officials are working tirelessly to follow leads and gather information in order to apprehend the suspect, and our collective support in these ways is crucial,” he said.

He expressed “every confidence” in the law enforcement agencies leading the manhunt and the investigation and said they are using all assets to locate Robert Card.

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Copied37d ago / 12:17 AM UTC

Large law enforcement presence at Bowdoin home as manhunt continues

Sam Brock and Erik Ortiz

BOWDOIN, Maine — Officials were at multiple residences tonight in their search for Lewiston shooting suspect Robert Card, Maine State Police said.

A large law enforcement presence was at a home in Bowdoin, which public records show is believed to be connected to Card. A voice on a bullhorn could be heard making announcements.

State police said on Facebook that law enforcement was at a property and that the announcements are “standard search warrant announcements when executing a warrant to ensure the safety of all involved.”

“It is unknown whether Robert Card is in any of the homes law enforcement will search,” state police said tonight. “Law enforcement officials are simply doing their due diligence by tracking down every lead in an effort to locate and apprehend Card.”

Officials at the property were reciting a message to Card saying that they don’t want to hurt him and that they can guarantee his safety.

“We don’t want to hurt anyone. Come outside to the driveway,” the voice said.

A helicopter could also be heard above the scene.

Law enforcement officers were also at a separate home in Bowdoin earlier in the day as part of the investigation and search for Card, state police said at the time.

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Copied37d ago / 11:53 PM UTC

Suspect’s concerning behavior was reported to police multiple times before shooting

Christina Sterbenz

On several occasions before the mass shooting, people who knew the suspect, Robert Card, found his behavior concerning enough to report it to law enforcement. 

Card, 40, a firearms instructor and longtime member of the Army Reserve, is still at large, and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies are engaged in a multistate manhunt.

After Card began hearing voices that made “horrible” comments about him a couple of months ago, Card’s family reached out to police and his Army Reserve base, his sister-in-law told NBC News. His family had grown “increasingly concerned,” she added. 

In July, service members training alongside Card also reported his erratic behavior to law enforcement, a Defense Department official confirmed to NBC News.

Separately, Card’s unit commander sent him to psychiatric treatment this summer after having become concerned when Card said he was hearing voices and threatened the base, two senior law enforcement officials said.

At the time, Card had already purchased a gun, an official said. 

The assault rifle-style weapon Card is alleged to have used was purchased legally this year, two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter said. Maine does not require background checks on all gun sales, and it does not have a “red flag” law, which typically allows a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Maine, however, does have a “yellow flag” law, which allows police to ask a judge to take away a person’s guns if a medical professional deems the person a danger.

It is not clear whether anyone had employed the law after any of those instances. 

Annemarie Bonner, Jonathan Dienst, Ken Dilanian, Courtney Kube, Abigail Russ and Tom Winter contributed to this report.

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Copied37d ago / 11:27 PM UTC

Married father of 2 wounded in shooting was competing in weekly cornhole tournament

Minyvonne Burke

AUGUSTA, Maine — Kyle Secor, a married father of two girls, is one of the 13 people injured during Wednesday’s rampage. Secor, 25, was competing in a weekly cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar and Grille with friends when he was shot multiple times, his mother, Colleen Secor, said today. 

He is on a ventilator in intensive care at Central Maine Medical Center after he underwent surgery to “repair multiple items on his body,” his mother said. He may have to undergo two more procedures.

“At this point he’s stable. There’s some decisions we have to make in the next 24 hours, but it’s going to be what it’s going to be. We were able to see him. I was able to hold his hand and tell him his mom’s here,” she said. “And we’re just hoping and praying for the best at this point.”

Kyle Secor, who is originally from New York, moved to Lewiston about 10 years ago. He played semiprofessional hockey for several years with the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques before he took up cornhole, his mother said. He would go to Schemengees for its Wednesday night cornhole tournaments.

“All we can ask and pray for right now is that God is on our side,” she said. “He’s got a wife and two beautiful little girls that need their daddy.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:18 PM UTC

3 of the injured remain in critical condition in Lewiston hospital

Phil Helsel

Three patients taken to Central Maine Medical Center after last night’s mass shootings remain in critical condition, the CEO of Central Maine Healthcare said.

Five others are stable, CEO Steven Littleson said. Central Maine Medical Center is part of the health care system, and all but one of the victims from the shooting scenes was taken there.

Littleson said staff members worked with compassion and expertise “when called upon under the most extreme circumstances.”

The hospital had six fully staffed operating centers running at the same time last night after a gunman opened fire at a bar and a bowling alley, he said. Other hospitals sent blood.

Two of the patients who were taken to the hospital were treated and discharged, and another person was transferred to a hospital in Portland. Three died at the hospital, he said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:43 PM UTC

Sen. Collins says ban on high-capacity magazines is more important than guns

Phil Helsel

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said at a news conference tonight that “it is more important that we ban very high-capacity magazines” rather than assault-style weapons.

“I think that would have more input and more effectiveness,” she said.

At the same news conference, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, said he was reversing course and calling for assault-style rifles to be banned, and Collins was asked whether she would do the same.

Collins said she supported the previous assault weapons ban, which lasted for 10 years but is no longer in effect.

She said she opposed a proposal to expand the assault weapons ban that she said would expand the types of weapons involved, which she said was “based not on functionality but on cosmetic features.”

Collins said she supported efforts to provide funding for red- and yellow-flag laws, which allow people or law enforcement officers to try to get guns taken away from those who pose risks to themselves or others.

“Certainly, there’s always more that can be done,” she said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:37 PM UTC

Gun found in abandoned Subaru is linked to suspect

Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter

A gun was found in a white Subaru linked to the suspect, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Whether it’s the weapon used in the mass shooting is being investigated, the sources said.

The Subaru, which has been identified as belonging to the suspect, was found last night at a boat launch in Lisbon, Maine, state police have said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:24 PM UTC

Rep. Jared Golden calls his opposition to assault weapons ban a mistake after killings

Phil Helsel

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents the Lewiston area, said tonight that his past opposition to bans on assault-style weapons was a mistake.

“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war, like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime,” Golden said.

“The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure,” he said. “Which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing.”

Golden said his past opposition stemmed in part from a desire to protect his family, “a false confidence that our community was above this” and what he said were “many other misjudgments.”

Golden is a co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, which describes itself as a fiscally responsible Democratic group focused on mainstream and pragmatic solutions.

He asked for forgiveness from his constituents and the families of those who lost loved ones.

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Copied37d ago / 10:09 PM UTC

Sen. Collins calls it a ‘dark day’ after worst mass shooting in Maine history

Phil Helsel

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called today a “dark day” in the wake of mass shootings that left at least 18 people dead in Lewiston.

“This heinous attack, which has robbed the lives of at least 18 Mainers and injured so many more, worst mass shooting that the state of Maine has ever experienced — and could ever imagine,” Collins said at a news conference tonight.

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Copied37d ago / 9:42 PM UTC

Robert Card was not trained as firearms instructor in Army, military says

Courtney Kube

Robert Card has been described as a firearms instructor, but he did not train for that through the Army, a spokesperson said today.

“The Army did not train SFC Card as a firearms instructor, nor did he serve in that capacity for the Army,” Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee said in a statement. SFC refers to Card’s rank of sergeant first class.

“We take matters such as this very seriously, and our primary concern is ensuring that all legal and appropriate actions are taken in accordance with our commitment to upholding the highest standards of conduct among our Soldiers and civilian personnel,” Dubee said. “We will continue to collaborate and support local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”

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Copied37d ago / 9:04 PM UTC

Mass shooting leaves city ‘eerily quiet,’ former mayor says

NBC News

State Rep. Kristen Cloutier, D-Lewiston, former mayor of Lewiston, joins “Meet the Press NOW” to describe the strength of her community after the mass shooting that left at least 18 dead.

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Copied37d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Patrick Dempsey shares condolences for his hometown of Lewiston

Abigail Russ

Patrick Dempsey, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy” and born in Lewiston, shared condolences for his hometown.

“I am shocked, and deeply saddened by last night’s tragedy in my hometown, Lewiston, Maine,” Dempsey shared in an Instagram post.

“Maine’s great strength is it’s sense of community, and now we are being asked to come together to support everyone that has been devastated by this senseless act. My family and I are heartbroken for victims, their families, and the community.”

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Copied37d ago / 8:48 PM UTC

Concert and ice skating events canceled at famed Maine venue

David K. Li

A concert and weekend ice skating sessions were postponed at one of Lewiston’s most famous landmarks, arena operators said today.

It was best to call off the “events for the safety and security of both you, the patron and our staff,” according to a statement by The Colisée officials.

That venue was known as the Central Maine Youth Center on May 25, 1965, when it played host to the title bout between reigning champ Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston.

The image snapped by John Rooney and Neil Leifer showing Clay, who’d later change his name to Muhammad Ali, standing over Liston is widely regraded as the most famous sports photograph ever taken.

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Copied37d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Jamaican food truck offers free food to first responders in ghost town of Lewiston

Alex Seitz-Wald

Chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel have been offering free food to first responders from their Jamaican food truck.Chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel have been offering free food to first responders from their Jamaican food truck.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

LEWISTON, Maine — Maine’s second-largest city has been transformed into a ghost town by the shooting. Streets are empty, businesses closed, parks deserted. Even major chains like 7-11, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin, the venerable New England favorite, are shuttered.

That’s been making it difficult for some to find food as the lockdown drags on. A mom-and-pop corner shop that was still open was swarmed with customers, clearing shelves of chips and packaged pastries.

One of the only places around to get a hot meal is from a Jamaican food truck, where chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel decided to open their business exclusively for first responders, with one catch — they refuse to accept any money.

Their crew has been making runs to drop off jerk chicken, beef and more at the hospital, where medical staff have been working through the night, and have offered free food to police officers and reporters covering the scene.

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Copied37d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Card could be on a boat or hiding in the woods, retired NYPD hostage negotiator says

Janelle Griffith

Robert J. Louden, a retired chief hostage negotiator for the New York Police Department, said that the hunt for Lewiston shooting suspect Robert Card is “like a spider’s web.” 

“From that parking area where he dumped his car, there’s four distinct possibilities: He killed himself. He got on a boat and went down that little river that’s there. He went into another car or motorcycle or something that was waiting for him. Or there’s a hiking trail. He could be in the woods someplace,” said Louden, now a professor emeritus of criminal justice at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

“And so, it’s like a spider’s web going out — and you’ve got to follow all those pieces of the web,” Louden said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:16 PM UTC

Maine Sen. Angus King: ‘This is one of the darkest days I can remember’

Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell is joined by Maine’s independent Sen. Angus King to discuss the ongoing manhunt for the suspect, the impact of this attack on Lewiston’s close-knit community and how Congress should respond.

“This is one of the darkest days I can remember,” King said. “We need to get on to grieving. We’ve got murders, we’ve got deaths, we’ve got families that have to come to grips with this.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

Note found at Robert Card’s home

Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter

Investigators executing a search warrant at suspect Robert Card’s home found a note, four senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.

Card is the suspect in shootings that killed at least 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night.

Investigators are trying to determine the meaning of the note and how it could potentially guide their probe and manhunt, officials said.

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Copied37d ago / 7:48 PM UTC

Servicemembers reported Robert Card’s behavior to law enforcement in July, official says

Courtney Kube and Abigail Russ

Servicemembers training alongside Robert Card reported his erratic behavior to law enforcement in July, a Defense Department official confirmed to NBC News.

On July 16, while training at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, leaders of the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, informed staff that Card, an Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class, was acting erratically.

Out of concern for his safety, the unit requested that law enforcement be contacted, the official said.

New York State Police responded and transported Card to Keller Army Community Hospital at the United States Military Academy for medical evaluation.

“Card was not assigned to West Point as any sort of instructor, to include firearms,” a Military Academy official said. “While his unit supported West Point summer training, our records indicate he did not instruct nor have any interactions with cadets in training.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:36 PM UTC

Lewiston journalist: ‘Quiet shock’ turned to ‘anger,’ ‘worry and frustration’ as manhunt continues

Andrea Mitchell

A mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, left at least 18 people dead and 13 others injured last night. Andrea Mitchell was joined by Judy Meyer, executive director of Sun Journal in Lewiston, and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, who went to school at Bates College in Lewiston.

“When this was all happening last night and overnight, it was really more like quiet shock,” Meyer says. “It’s evolved to this point today as turning into anger and worry and frustration.” 

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Copied37d ago / 7:13 PM UTC

Coast Guard deploys crews to search for Robert Card

David K. Li

The Coast Guard launched sea and air assets in the search for Robert Card today, officials said.

A surveillance plane and crew out of Boothbay have been pulled into the region-wide manhunt, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Diolanda Caballero told NBC News.

Asked if Card could be fleeing in a boat, Caballero would only say that if Coast Guard personnel spot him, they’ve been instructed to notify Maine state police.

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Copied37d ago / 7:06 PM UTC

Lewiston mass shooting is the worst of 2023 so far, Gun Violence Archive says

Rebecca Cohen

The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive is calling the Lewiston mass shooting the worst of the year so far.

It defines “mass shooting” as an event where at least four people were shot, not including the shooter.

Mass shootings in Maine are particularly rare, although this incident comes after another mass shooting in Bowdoin, Maine, earlier this year.

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Copied37d ago / 7:04 PM UTC

Card received mental health treatment after ‘hearing voices,’ officials say

Ken Dilanian and Abigail Russ

Two senior law enforcement officials tell NBC News that Robert Card’s military unit commander sent him to psychiatric treatment this summer. They became concerned after Card said he was hearing voices and threatened the base. 

He spent about two weeks undergoing in-patient, psychiatric treatment and was released. It is not clear what further action was taken. It is also unclear whether his commanders reported his concerning behavior to the FBI. The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

The officials said the weapon used was a sniper rifle with .308 caliber bullets.

Earlier this year, the federal government paid a $144 million settlement to the families of victims of the 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting after a judge found that the Air Force had failed to report behavior that should have prohibited the shooter from purchasing a firearm. 

In Card’s case, the official said, it appears he purchased the gun before he was sent for treatment. 

There are also questions about whether he should have been subject to Maine’s “yellow flag” law, which allows police to request that a judge take away a person’s guns if a medical professional deems them a danger.

The officials also said Card owns several acres of land in Maine.

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Copied37d ago / 6:57 PM UTC

Bates College students air frustrations over school’s handling of lockdown

Alex Seitz-Wald

Bates College in Maine.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

LEWISTON, Maine — Some Bates College students are voicing their frustrations over the school’s handling of the shelter-in-place order, which have left some unable to eat for over 12 hours.

Freddie Curtis, a junior from outside Boston, was behind the wheel of a car with four friends heading off campus to find food — a challenge, given that most restaurants are closed during the manhunt for the shooting suspect.

“We’re all really hungry,” he said. The students said they haven’t eaten since 7 p.m. Wednesday night as students have been assigned staggered windows for dining hall access, and their next one is more than 18 hours after their last meal.

Bates College in Maine.Bates College in Maine.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

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Copied37d ago / 6:50 PM UTC

Robert Card’s family says they alerted authorities to mental health concerns

Melissa Chan

The family of Robert Card said the suspected gunman had been experiencing an “acute” mental health episode for months and had a “manic belief” that people were saying negative things about him before the Wednesday night massacre.

Card, 40, a firearms instructor and longtime Army reservist, began to hear voices that were saying “horrible” things about him a couple of months ago when he was fitted for high-powered hearing aids, according to Katie Card, who is married to his brother.

“He was picking up voices that he had never heard,” she told NBC News. “His mind was twisting them around. He was humiliated by the things that he thought were being said.”

The family alerted police and military officials when they grew concerned about his mental health, Card’s sister-in-law said.

Read the full story here. 

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Copied37d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

Shelter in place order extended in Maine as manhunt continues

Abigail Russ

Maine’s Emergency Management Agency, MEMA, is extending the shelter in place order for Androscoggin County — which contains Lewiston, site of the shootings — and nearby Northern Sagadahoc County.

As the search from Robert Card continues, MEMA asked residents to “please make sure your homes and vehicles are secured,” in a post on X.

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Copied37d ago / 6:12 PM UTC

Father of bar manager killed in shooting says his son tried to stop the gunman

Lester Holt

Leroy Walker found out his son, Joseph “Joey” Walker, is among the dead in the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. Police told his family that Joey, a manager at Schemengees Bar & Grille, tried to stop the gunman from shooting anyone else before he was killed. Leroy speaks out to Lester Holt.

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Copied37d ago / 5:59 PM UTC

‘We cannot accept this’: White House press secretary addresses Lewiston shootings

NBC News

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began a press briefing by addressing the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, highlighting what steps the Biden administration has taken on gun reform and calling on legislators to act.

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Copied37d ago / 5:50 PM UTC

Locals ‘shocked’ by shooting that rocked their ‘safe’ community

George Solis

LEWISTON, Maine — Lewiston residents Hunter Kissam and Mia Zellner said they were shocked by the bloodshed that unfolded in their city last night. 

“It’s been a major, major shock,” Zellner said Thursday in front of a sign asking residents to shelter in place.

“We never expected something like this to happen here,” she added. “We always felt super safe.”

Kissam called the shooting “senseless violence.”

“I mean, waking up this morning, I still couldn’t believe it, and now we got less than five hours of sleep last night and it was just unreal to just watch the helicopter moving on the map on TV and hearing it come closer to our apartment,” said Kissam.

“I hope that he’s caught. I hope he’s brought to justice, that needs to happen,” said Zellner.

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Copied37d ago / 5:46 PM UTC

Shooting ripples through Maine’s deaf community

Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — The shooting hit Maine’s deaf community especially hard, since several of its members were participating in an event at Schemengees Bar organized by American Deaf Cornhole, a group that puts on tournaments of the beanbag game across the country.

“American Deaf Cornhole wants to offer our deepest condolences to Maine families and friends, especially our deaf cornhole players who lost their family/friends,” the group said on Facebook. “It is a time like this that we must come together as a community and support one another. Sending our thoughts and prayers to all affected by this tragic event. Our hearts goes out to Lewiston community!”

Catherine Dunn was told second-hand by an ASL interpreter that her stepson, Bryan McFarlane, 41, who is deaf, was killed at the event, but she was still searching for official information early Thursday afternoon and feared the worst.

“I don’t know if he’s alive or dead,” she told NBC News.

She’s also concerned about her stepson’s dog.

“He takes his dog everywhere,” she said. “I don’t know if his dog is in his truck at Schemengees’ bar, still. Or if he’s at his house, or if he’s still alive.”

The city’s animal control officer and local humane society did not respond to requests for more information about the dog from NBC News.

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Copied37d ago / 5:30 PM UTC

Maine State Police release detailed timeline of shootings

NBC News

  • At 6:56 p.m., Wednesday, October 25, 2023 Auburn Communications Center was notified that a man walked into the Spare Time Recreation on Mollison Street in Lewiston and began shooting. This was confirmed by multiple 911 calls that followed.
  • At 7:08 p.m., The Auburn Communications Center received multiple calls that a man had come into Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street and began shooting.
  • Multiple law enforcement agencies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the scenes.
  •  At 8:06 pm, police released a photo of the shooter to the media.
  • At 9:26 p.m., the Lewiston Police Department received a call identifying the man in the distributed photos as Robert Card, age 40, of Bowdoin, Maine.
  • At 9:56 p.m., the Lisbon Police Department notified Lewiston Police that they had located a white Subaru at the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lisbon. The vehicle was identified as belonging to Robert Card. 
  • Police have confirmed that there were seven people killed at Sparetime Recreation, and eight people killed at Schemengees Bar and Grille. Three addition people died after being transported to Central Maine Medical Hospital in Lewiston for treatment. An additional 13 people were injured in the shootings. 
  • Names of the victims are not available at this time as police continue to identify victims and contact family members.
  • Currently there are over 350 law enforcement personnel involved in the search for Robert Card, comprised of officers from all over the state, and national agencies as well. 
  • If anyone has any information on Robert Card or about the shootings please call 207.213.9526 or 207.509.9002.
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Copied37d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

Bates College still in lockdown, classes canceled through Friday

Annemarie Bonner

Bates College in Lewistown is still under lockdown and classes have been canceled. The school released a statement saying that there are no current reports of any Bates students or employees among the victims of the shootings.

And in a later announcement, the college said classes will also be canceled tomorrow. If the lockdown is lifted overnight, classes will still remain canceled. They wrote that they will be in touch again in the morning to discuss any additional modifications.

Lewiston Public Schools also announced there will be no classes on Friday. “We remain in a shelter in place situation,” Superintendent Jake Langlais announced on X. “We will not open buildings or run bus transportation. If we receive updated information we will update everyone as we are able to.”

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Copied37d ago / 5:14 PM UTC

Kamala Harris addresses shootings in Maine: ‘It does not have to be this way’

NBC News

Vice President Kamala Harris began her remarks at an event with the Australian prime minister by addressing the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that killed at least 18 people.

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Copied37d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

Hotel in Maine is locking doors, confirming reservations before letting guests enter

Minyvonne Burke

AUGUSTA, Maine — Communities surrounding Lewiston are on edge as authorities continue to search for the gunman. Fairfield Inn & Suites, located roughly 35 miles away in Augusta, Maine, locked the front door to the lobby and are confirming reservations before letting people on the property.

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Copied37d ago / 5:09 PM UTC

Massachusetts police do not believe Robert Card is in the state

Abigail Russ

Massachusetts State Police do not believe Robert Card is in the state, but said in a statement today they are continuing to monitor for any developments that “affect our state.”

Several patrols were deployed to the state’s boarder with New Hampshire to be on the lookout for the suspect’s white Subaru, MSP said.

That deployment was standard protocol and “there was no intelligence that suggested the suspect had fled toward Massachusetts,” the statement said.

That white Subaru was later found abandoned in Maine. 

MSP Colonel John Mawn has been in contact with his counterparts across New England and is ready to deploy aid and assistance if requested. A state trooper, and his K9 partner are currently assisting in Lewiston as an ATF Task Force Officer.

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Copied37d ago / 5:04 PM UTC

Gun used in shooting was purchased legally, sources say

Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Annemarie Bonner

The assault rifle-style weapon used by Robert Card, the man accused in the mass shooting, was purchased legally this year, according to two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter.

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Copied37d ago / 4:54 PM UTC

Father of bar manager killed in shooting calls it ‘nightmare we don’t understand’

Rebecca Cohen

Leroy Walker learned Thursday morning that his son, a manager at the Lewiston bar where a gunman opened fire Wednesday night, was killed in the attack.

Walker, a city council member in Auburn, Maine, told NBC News that state police informed him that his son, Joseph Walker, was one of the 18 victims who died in Wednesday’s shooting.

Walker said it took over 14 hours to be notified about his son, saying his family was “suffering and dying in a nightmare we don’t understand.”

“None of us slept, we were up all night,” he said. “We didn’t know where to go, who to run to. They didn’t notify any of us.”

He said his youngest son called him Wednesday night with news that Joseph Walker had been shot at the Schemengees Bar & Grille.

“I almost fell to my knees,” he said. Walker, through tears, added that he sends condolences to all of the other affected families.

He said Joseph Walker was a “great, great son” and a “loving husband” who had two grandchildren and a step son living at home with him and his wife.

He added that his son “grew the business tremendously” at Schemengees, starting the sports games the bar offered to raise money.

“He’d help anybody, work with anybody, put on any tournament they wanted, raised money for many, many groups,” Walker said of his son.

“Hell of a loss for the community,” Walker continued. “He has done everything that he could in his community.”

Earlier Thursday, he said he hadn’t heard from his son and presumed he had been killed.

“My son is dead and I know he’s dead,” Walker told NBC. “I know it as well as I know I’m standing here telling you, because he’s not here and he’s not at any other hospital.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:39 PM UTC

L.L. Bean closing stores in light of shooting

Annemarie Bonner

L.L. Bean, the Maine-based clothing and outdoor lifestyle retailer, announced that they are closing their stores, manufacturing facilities and corporate headquarters in the state in light of the Lewiston shootings.

“Our priority is, and will remain, the health and safety of our employees and customers,” the company said in a statement.

“Maine is more than just a place to us; it’s our home, our community, and our family. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy in our beloved state. We urge all of our neighbors to stay safe and look out for one another while we process these events together.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:27 PM UTC

Merrick Garland says federal officials are on the ground in Maine

Annemarie Bonner

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the FBI and other federal agencies are on the ground assisting in the investigation of the Lewiston shootings.

“I am heartbroken for those who have lost loved ones, for those who have been injured, and for the entire Lewiston community,” Garland said in a statement. “No community should have to endure the horrific mass shootings that have become routine in our country.”

He added that the FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals are in Maine to support the investigation and help with victim assistance.

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Copied37d ago / 4:08 PM UTC

100 off-duty hospital workers responded to Lewiston shootings

David K. Li

About 100 off-duty Central Maine Medical Center employees jumped into action on Wednesday night when wounded patients first arrived at Maine hospitals, officials said.

“We had some heroic efforts by our team members last night, continuing into today,” Dr. John Alexander, chief operating officer and chief medical officer of Central Maine Healthcare, told reporters.

Central Maine received its first patient at 7:24 p.m. on Wednesday and kept receiving the wounded for another 45 minutes.

The trauma center took in 14 patients — three who died, eight admitted, two treated and released, and one sent to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, the hospital chief added.

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Copied37d ago / 4:06 PM UTC

Bowling alley that was site of shooting says ‘none of this seems real’

Annemarie Bonner

The owners of Just-In-Time Recreation, where seven people were found dead following the Lewiston mass shootings, posted a statement on Facebook expressing their shock and sorrow.

“None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is. We are devastated for our community and our staff,” the statement said.

“We lost some amazing and whole hearted people from our bowling family and community last night. There are no words to fix this or make it better. We are praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts.”

After the post went up this morning, hundreds flocked to the comments to express their thoughts of heartbreak, prayers, and sadness.

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Copied37d ago / 3:55 PM UTC

Newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson calls Lewiston shootings ‘horrific tragedy’

NBC News

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., addressed the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that killed at least 18 people, calling it a “horrific tragedy.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

Biden calls on Congress to ban assault weapons

Ginger Gibson

President Joe Biden issued a statement saying he and first lady Jill Biden are praying for the victims.

“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,” he said in the statement.

He went on to call for Congress to pass a ban of the type of weapon used in this shooting.

“Today, in the wake of yet another tragedy, I urge Republican lawmakers in Congress to fulfill their duty to protect the American people. Work with us to pass a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, to require safe storage of guns, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers,” he said. “This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars — physical and mental — of this latest attack.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

Gov. Janet Mills: ‘This is a dark day for Maine’

David K. Li

Gov. Janet Mills declared that today is a “dark day for Maine” and the Pine Tree State’s 1.3 million residents, who are reeling from America’s latest mass shooting.

“This is a dark day for Maine,” Mills told reporters. “I know it’s hard for us to think about healing when our hearts are broken.”  

Wednesday night’s attacks in Lewiston took an emotional toll on the governor, who met her husband and raised their children in Maine’s second-biggest city.

“Look, Lewiston is a special place,” she said. “It’s a close-knit community with a long history of hard work, of persistence, of faith, of opening its big heart to people everywhere.“

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Copied37d ago / 3:19 PM UTC

Timeline of 911 calls

Marlene Lenthang

The first 911 call came in to the Auburn communications center at 6:56 p.m. Wednesday night regarding a male who was shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, in Lewiston, William G. Ross with Maine State Police said Thursday.

Then at 7:08 p.m., the communication center received multiple calls about an “active shooter” inside Schemengees Bar and Grille, about 4 miles away from Just-In-Time, also in Lewiston.

“A large law enforcement response from multiple surrounding agencies assisted the Lewiston police department in trying to identify who this individual was, what was happening,” Ross said.

“As you can imagine this was a very fast paced, fast moving, very fluid scene, very dangerous scene, that these guys and girls were going into,” he added.

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Copied37d ago / 3:11 PM UTC

13 injured in Lewiston shootings

Marlene Lenthang

Gov. Janet Mills said in a briefing Thursday that 13 people were injured in the shootings that erupted Wednesday night in Lewiston.

It’s not clear how many of those are in critical condition.

Police have not shared details such as the ages of those killed or wounded.

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Copied37d ago / 3:11 PM UTC

Where the fatal victims were found

Marlene Lenthang

Officials said in a news briefing Thursday that 18 people were killed in the Lewiston shootings Wednesday night.

So far, eight of the victims who died have been identified, and 10 are still pending identification, William G. Ross with Maine State Police, which is leading the investigation, said.

Map of Lewiston, Maine, showing the location of Just-In-Time recreation and Schemengees Bar and Grille, the site of the Oct. 25, 2023 shootings.Location of Lewiston attacks

Seven of the fatal victims were found at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley (formerly known as Sparetime): one female and six males, all suffering apparent gunshot wounds, Ross said.

Another eight of the victims who died were found at Schemengees Bar and Grille: seven males found inside and one outside, all also with apparent gunshot wounds.

Multiple people were transferred to area hospitals, three of whom were pronounced deceased, Ross said.

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Copied37d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

Robert Card named as suspect, arrest warrant for 8 counts of murder issued

David K. Li

An arrest warrant was issued for Robert Card, charging him with at least eight counts of murder, police said today.

The eight counts are based on the identification of eight of the 18 people gunned down in a series of shootings on Monday night in Lewiston, Maine State Police Col. William Ross.

Card’s whereabouts are still unknown.

“We’re actively searching for him,” Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told reporters. “ We don’t know his location and I’ll leave it at that.” 

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Copied37d ago / 2:39 PM UTC

Robert Card has served in the Army Reserve since 2002

Melissa Chan

Robert Card, who police say is a person of interest in the Lewiston massacre, is a longtime member of the Army Reserve with no combat deployments, the Army confirmed today.

Sgt. 1st Class Card is a petroleum supply specialist who enlisted in December 2002, according to Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee.

Card’s awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal x2, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.”

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Copied37d ago / 2:25 PM UTC

People knew to ‘stay away’ from Robert Card, Maine resident says

Doha Madani

Robert Card, the person of interest in the Lewiston mass shooting, lived in what local resident Liam Kent described as “basically a compound” in the neighboring town of Bowdoin, Maine.”The family and Robert, they’re all gun fanatics,” Kent said. “For all intents and purposes, they are very much associated with right-wing militias. It’s known in the town to stay away from them and not approach them.”

Kent said he vividly remembers when he went to the store as a kid and saw Card at a nearby weigh station with a dead deer. Card was grinning, covered in blood with a gun still strapped to his body.

“Also they would shoot guns all the time, you could hear them every day after school,” Kent added. “It was like clockwork.”

Some of the victims were people Kent knew, he said, declining to identify anyone before officials made names public.

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Copied37d ago / 2:21 PM UTC

Maine Gun Safety Coalition blames Lewiston shootings on ‘weak gun laws’

Gavon Laessig

A nonprofit organization that advocates for gun safety legislation in Maine issued a statement today directly blaming the Lewiston shootings on “weak gun laws.”

“The Maine Gun Safety Coalition grieves with the families and friends who lost loved ones in the mass shooting last night,” the statement said. “We watched in horror as the tragedy in Lewiston, Maine happened before our eyes — the result of our weak gun laws.”

“We call on our elected officials tonight to stop bowing to the gun lobby and look squarely at the face of what has happened in Maine’s second largest city,” the group said. “At a minimum, the Maine Gun Safety Coalition believes an assault weapons ban is necessary to try to prevent more such tragedies in our state.”

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Copied37d ago / 2:11 PM UTC

Flags at White House, other federal locations lowered to half-staff in honor of victims

Molly Roecker

Biden issued a proclamation today ordering the White House flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the Maine shooting victims.

“I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations,” the order read.

The flags will be lowered from today through sunset Monday.

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Copied37d ago / 2:09 PM UTC

University of Maine, where Robert Card once studied, cancels class

David K. Li

The University of Maine, where the person of interest, Robert Card, once attended 20 years ago, canceled classes today.

Students and staff in Orono, which is more than 100 miles away from last night’s shootings in Lewiston, need “this time to support each other, connect with loved ones, and grieve for those whose lives were tragically lost,” according to a university statement.

Card went to Maine for three academic years, from fall 2001 through spring 2004, studying engineering technology, university spokesman Eric Gordon said. Card left the school without graduating, he added.

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Copied37d ago / 1:40 PM UTC

18 dead, 60 injured, sources say

Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst

The Lewiston shootings killed 18 people and critically injured four, two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told NBC News.

Another 60 people have been wounded, though some of their injuries are minor ones associated with fleeing, they said.

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Copied37d ago / 1:00 PM UTC

Maine on guns: No background checks, no ‘red flag’ laws

Marlene Lenthang and The Associated Press

Maine does not require background checks on all gun sales and does not have “red flag” laws, according to Everytown For Gun Safety.

“Red flag” laws, also known as extreme risk laws, allow a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns if there’s evidence the individual poses a serious risk based on a family or law enforcement report. 

Maine does not ban high-capacity magazines and does not require a permit to carry concealed guns.

Everytown ranked Maine No. 25 among all states for the strength of gun laws, saying: “State leaders must do more to prevent gun violence.” 

Proposals to require background checks for private gun sales and create a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases failed earlier this year. Proposals that focused on school security and banning bump stocks failed in 2019.

Residents have also voted down some attempts to tighten gun laws in Maine. A proposal to require background checks for gun sales failed in a 2016 public vote.

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Copied37d ago / 12:45 PM UTC

Lewiston is the 565th mass shooting of the year: Gun Violence Archive

Doha Madani

The shooting in Lewiston is mass shooting No. 565 of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as at least four victims shot and killed excluding the shooter.

It’s also the deadliest.

Although a final death toll has yet to be reported — at least 18 people were killed — this is already the most fatalities this year for a mass shooting event.

The second-most deadly shooting of the year is the January attack in Monterey Park, California, in which 11 people were killed in targeted attacks at dance halls during a Lunar New Year festival.

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Copied37d ago / 12:09 PM UTC

Neighboring states on alert and in contact with Maine authorities

Doha Madani

Both Connecticut and New Hampshire said their state police departments are on alert and monitoring the manhunt for the person of interest in the Lewiston shooting.

“No specific threats have been received, but in the interest of public safety, we are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close communication with our regional law enforcement partners,” the Connecticut State Police said in a statement this morning.

Robert L. Quinn, New Hampshire’s safety commissioner, urged people to report any suspicious activity to local police.

“We stand with our friends and partners in Maine during this time,” he said. “We are asking all New Hampshire residents to stay vigilant.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:57 AM UTC

Witnesses were in disbelief, mistook ‘pops’ for a ‘Halloween joke,’ Auburn mayor says

Marlene Lenthang

Jason Levesque, the mayor of Auburn, a town that neighbors Lewiston, said people who witnessed last night’s shooting were in shock and disbelief.

“There’s a lot of different snippets here and there, and you try to put them all together. My mind just goes to a massive scene of confusion and chaos,” he said on NBC’s “TODAY” this morning.

“Disbelief actually, that was a common thing I did hear,” the mayor said. “They thought it was some sort of Halloween joke or something, the initial pops if you would, until everything started escalating quite rapidly.”

Levesque explained that Lewiston and Auburn are one community, separated by a river.

Officials have said shots were fired at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille. Levesque said the bowling alley was hosting a youth night last night and Schemengees is a place beloved by locals who play cornhole.

“I know for a fact we’re going to stay strong. We’re going to find the individual who did this and bring him to justice quickly, very quickly,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 11:54 AM UTC

Morning dawns on the empty streets of Lewiston

Emma Barnett

Lewiston, Maine, at dawn.Lewiston at dawn today.Robert F. Bukaty / AP

LEWISTON — Things are quiet this morning in this community in shock.

At Bates College, less than 2 miles from one of the shooting sites, little movement beyond campus security could be seen as students remain on lockdown.

Most residents are still sheltering in place, a request from local police as multiple law enforcement agencies search for the gunman who opened fire at a local bar and bowling alley. The only people on the street are police or fellow members of the media.

A police officer noted that a handful of people were still waiting at a nearby middle school, which has been set up as a family reunification center. Twelve hours after the shooting, many are still waiting to learn the state of their loved ones.

Police patrol at Schemengees Bar, the day after a mass shooting, in Lewiston, Maine.Police patrol at Schemengees Bar, the day after a mass shooting, in Lewiston today.Joseph Prezioso / AFP – Getty Images

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Copied37d ago / 11:52 AM UTC

Biden offers federal support in calls with governor and members of Congress

Monica Alba and Caroline Kenny

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden left a state dinner with the prime minister of Australia last night to call Gov. Janet Mills, Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and Rep. Jared Golden and offer full federal support in the wake of the mass shooting, a senior White House official said.

The White House also said the president had been briefed on what’s known so far about the shooting and will continue to be updated.

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Copied37d ago / 11:38 AM UTC

College between shooting sites says no students, staff among victims

NBC News

Bates College, a liberal arts school situated between the two Lewiston businesses where shots were fired last night, said that no students or employees were killed in the shootings.

The school remains on lockdown, officials said, and classes have been canceled for the day.

Public schools in Portland, which is about 35 miles south of Lewiston, have also been called off, district officials said. It is among a growing number of districts that have canceled school during the manhunt.

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Copied37d ago / 11:20 AM UTC

Maine Department of Public Safety to provide update this morning

NBC News

As more communities are asked to shelter in place, Maine law enforcement officials are preparing to provide an update on last night’s fatal shootings and the search for a person of interest.

The Maine Department of Public Safety will offer a briefing at 10:30 a.m. from Lewiston City Hall. 

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Copied37d ago / 10:51 AM UTC

A look at the community reeling from the shootings

Cynthia McFadden

Lewiston has always been a blue-collar working-class community — separated from its sister city of Auburn by the Androscoggin River, which was once so polluted by mills that you smelled it before you ever saw it.

Between the 1950s and ’60s, the river was effectively used as an open sewer, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, with large stretches devoid of any fish.

Bates Mill, a textile factory in Lewiston, was a major employer with thousands of French Canadians working there back in the early part of the 1900s. Today, there is still a vibrant French Canadian community in the area, a modern-day reminder of the labor migration.   

Known locally as the twin cities, or “L-A,” the communities of Lewiston and Auburn have about 60,000 residents.

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Copied37d ago / 10:45 AM UTC

‘I just feel numb,’ says local bar owner whose staff went on lockdown

The Associated Press

Melinda Small, the owner of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, said her staff immediately locked their doors and moved all 25 customers and employees away from the entrance after a customer reported hearing about the shooting at the bowling alley less than a quarter-mile away.

Soon, the police flooded the roadway and a police officer eventually escorted everyone out of the building.

“I am honestly in a state of shock. I am blessed that my team responded quickly and everyone is safe,” Small said. “But at the same time, my heart is broken for this area and for what everyone is dealing with. I just feel numb.”

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Copied37d ago / 10:26 AM UTC

More communities urged to stay at home as manhunt widens

Emma Barnett

LEWISTON — Law enforcement officials are widening shelter-in-place orders as the manhunt for a person of interest in the deadly shootings continues.

“We are expanding the shelter in place advisory and school closings to include the town of Bowdoin,” Maine State Police said early this morning, urging residents to stay home and inside.

Bowdoin is about 15 miles east from the sites of last night’s shootings.

More than 100 local and federal investigators are working to locate Card, police said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:18 AM UTC

‘Why in Lewiston, Maine?’

Emma Barnett

LEWISTON, Maine —  In a town where most everyone knows most everyone else, Mar Mcenerey says it’s unfathomable that anyone would commit such a horrible act of violence.

“I’m gonna start locking my doors at night,” she said. “I’ve never locked my door once at night, I leave them wide open.”

Mcenerey woke from a nap to the news of the deadly shooting last night and felt compelled to rush to the area of the shootings that killed at least a dozen people. She stopped by her mother’s house on the way to make sure her doors were locked.

Living just four miles away, Mcenerey spends a lot of time in the area. Her mother’s doctor’s office is nearby, and the two often get something to eat at the Subway down the road from the Sparetime Recreation.

“I feel sad, like I’m probably getting ready to cry. … I want to know who, where, when. Why, like, why would he do this?” Mcenery said. “Like why in Lewiston, Maine? … What happened at the bowling alley or the Schemengees that would cause someone to come back and open fire like that?”

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Copied37d ago / 10:04 AM UTC

Bulletin includes recent concerns about person of interest

Daniel Arkin and Jason Abbruzzese

A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said Card was a trained firearms instructor and was believed to be in the Army Reserve.

It added that law enforcement said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.”

The bulletin said Card was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this summer and then released. NBC News has not been able to independently verify the bulletin’s statements about Card’s history.

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Copied37d ago / 9:50 AM UTC

School districts cancel classes amid manhunt

Doha Madani

The Oxford Hills School District and Lisbon Public Schools have announced school closures today as authorities continue to search for the gunman.

“The events in the Lewiston/ Auburn area yesterday still continue to unfold, so out of an abundance of caution, our schools will close for today,” the Oxford Hills School District said in a Facebook post, noting that calls went out to families at 5 a.m. local time.

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Copied37d ago / 9:38 AM UTC

Lisbon police ask residents to keep sheltering in place

Doha Madani

Residents of Lisbon have been asked to stay put this morning as police continue their shelter-in-place recommendation.

Police said there is a specific emphasis for those between Mill Street in Lisbon Center and Main Street in Lisbon Falls. Many of the businesses in that area will also be closed.

“Your cooperation with this recommendation is greatly appreciated as we work with several other law enforcement agencies to assure the residents and businesses in the community can go about their daily activities safely,” police said.

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Copied37d ago / 9:19 AM UTC

Bowler climbed barefoot into pin machine to escape shooting

The Associated Press

One bowler, who identified himself only as Brandon, said he heard about 10 shots, thinking the first was a balloon 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 said.

Brandon said he scrambled down the length of the alley, sliding into the pin area and climbing up to hide in the machinery. He was among a busload of survivors driven to a middle school in the neighboring city of Auburn to be reunited with family and friends.

“I was putting on my bowling shoes when it started. I’ve been barefoot for five hours,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 9:03 AM UTC

Road closures announced as manhunt goes on

Doha Madani

Lewiston Maine Police Department announced road closures as the search for the gunman continues.

  • Mollison Way
  • River Roadd from Locust Street to South Avenue

Residents will be permitted into the closed area on River Road, police said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:41 AM UTC

Business reels from attack: ‘How can we make any sense of this’

Doha Madani

Schemengees Bar and Grill, one of the locations attacked, posted an emotional Facebook message in the aftermath.

“My heart is crushed,” the post said. “I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turn upside down for no good reason. We loss great people in this community. How can we make any sense of this. Sending out prayers to everyone.”

The post was not signed identifying the writer.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

‘We’re hoping and praying’ victims are OK, friend says

Phil Helsel

Jeremy Janes said he was working at a foundry near Schemengees Bar when gunshots were heard and the facility was locked down.

“Immediately we locked down, and closed our doors and we closed the shop,” he told NBC Boston outside a hospital in Lewiston.

Janes said he heard his friend’s son had been shot but that “he’s doing OK.”

“We’re hoping and praying that everyone’s OK, and he’s OK,” he added.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

Photo: Police secure the area around Central Maine Medical Center

The Associated Press

Law enforcement officers carry rifles outside Central Maine Medical Center after an active shooter situation was declared in Lewiston last evening.

mass shooting event police guard securitySteven Senne / AP

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

At least 15 to 20 dead, dozens injured in Maine shootings

Jonathan Dienst

The number of people believed to be killed in the shootings is 15 to 20, according to law enforcement sources.

Up to 50 people may be injured, although not all of whom were shot. Some of the wounded reportedly had injuries from a stampede, the sources said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

All Lewiston municipal buildings closed today

Phil Helsel

The city of Lewiston said that all municipal buildings are closed today as the hunt for the shooter who caused multiple casualties in the city last evening continues, the city government said.

Schools are also closed. People were told to shelter in place after the shootings. Police identified a bar and a bowling alley as scenes.

The city said that nonemergency personnel should stay home.

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Copied NEWUPDATESNBC NewsDoha Madani, Marlene Lenthang, Phil Helsel, Minyvonne Burke, Alex Seitz-Wald and David K. Licontributed.37d ago / 7:25 AM UTC

NBC News

Vigils, memorials, and communities in shock due to gun violence are all to familiar in the U.S.

The mass shooting in Lewiston was 565th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2023 and the deadliest so far this year, according the Gun Violence Archive, which collates data from law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources.

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Copied37d ago / 6:40 AM UTC

A mass shooting roils a Maine city where ‘everybody kind of knows everybody’

Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — When chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel woke up Thursday, the morning after the worst mass shooting in Maine’s history, and realized most businesses would be closed, they wondered how police hunting the killer and the medical staff members treating the wounded would find anything to eat. 

So they decided to open their Jamaican food truck exclusively for first responders, free of charge, making it one of the only places in town with a hot meal available.

The gesture like that by a Black immigrant family in the whitest state in the country is emblematic, Lewiston’s boosters say, of how a struggling postindustrial mill town has been revived in part by a recent influx of non-European immigrants.

The shooting will be an inflection point for a small city and state that are both frequently ranked among the safest in the country after a single night of bloodshed that resulted in roughly the annual number of homicides statewide.

“We’re always talking about how this kind of thing doesn’t happen here,” said Julien Leavitt, standing outside his house, the first one near a police cordon blocking access to one of the shooting sites. “And then it did.”

Read the full story here.

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Copied37d ago / 5:46 AM UTC

Inside the Maine hospital that treated shooting victims

Reuters

LEWISTON, Maine — Dr. Richard King was driving home from the Central Maine Medical Center on Wednesday night when he received an urgent call from a fellow trauma surgeon alerting him that victims of a mass casualty event were flooding the hospital.

King, the trauma medical director, immediately turned around. He arrived to discover what he later described in an interview as a nightmarish scene.

Within minutes, King went to work performing a “damage control” surgery on one gunshot victim to stop the bleeding and save the victim’s life before he hustled into a different operating room to begin work on another.

“It was a situation of organized chaos,” King said. “It was really quite surreal. We read about these events all too frequently, and then to be a part of one …”

King told Reuters by phone that the 250-bed medical center, which has undergone mass casualty event training, had never seen anything like the fallout from the Lewiston shooting.

It felt like the whole hospital rushed to help, he said, and more than 30 surgeons arrived within minutes of the first ambulances.

As one victim after another was rushed into the emergency room — more than a dozen gunshot victims eventually arrived — doctors grew concerned about the blood supply.

The surgeons did all they could to stem the loss of blood, and more blood was secured from nearby hospitals, he said.

“We really just did what we would normally do, just at maximum capacity and with maximum effort,” King said. “It was inspiring to see how all our staff responded, how everybody stepped up to the plate.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:41 AM UTC

Neighbor of suspect Robert Card’s family says he seemed ‘perfectly normal’ weeks ago

Reuters and Phil Helsel

There was nothing amiss when Rick Goddard last saw Robert Card at Card’s father’s property in Maine.

“The last time I saw him was two weeks ago when he was helping his father hay this field right here. Perfectly normal,” Goddard said on video from the Reuters news agency.

“I mean, there was nothing out of the norm,” said Goddard, 44. “Hard-working farming family doing their thing, you know, nothing out of the ordinary.”

Card is now the most wanted man in Maine.

Hundreds of law enforcement personnel are searching for Card, who is a suspect in mass shootings in Lewiston that left 18 people dead.

“Nothing’s going to be the same,” Goddard said. “I feel so bad for his father, what he’s going to go through, the rest of his family. You know, it’s not their fault, but it’s going to fall on them. There’s no getting around it. It’s going to fall on them.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:33 AM UTC

Emilie Ikeda

Many families have spent hours sheltering in place as the manhunt continues more than 24 hours after the deadly shootings in Lewiston.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills at a news conference called the shootings an assault on Lewiston’s citizens, its peace of mind and its sense of security.

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Copied37d ago / 2:48 AM UTC

It was youth night at a Maine bowling alley when gunfire erupted

Daniella Silva, George Solis and Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — It was supposed to be a night of fun competition.

A group of young people gathered at a bowling alley in Lewiston on Wednesday evening for youth league matches. Four miles away, members of a cornhole team for deaf people hosted an evening of games.

But before long, the revelry was interrupted by gunfire.

A shooter unleashed a barrage of bullets on the bowling event at Just-in-Time Recreation, where he killed seven people, before he moved on to Schemengees Bar and Grille about 12 minutes later, where he killed eight more. The death toll stands at 18, including those who died later at hospitals.

“They’re just innocent people out for a night of bowling,” said Kim McConville, whose cousin and his 14-year-old son were killed at the bowling alley. “This was a children’s event. Who expects a shooter to go into a children’s event?”

Read the full story here.

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Copied37d ago / 2:06 AM UTC

John Mulaney and Pete Davidson postpone Maine shows after shooting

Phil Helsel

Comedians John Mulaney and Pete Davidson said today they are postponing planned shows in Maine this weekend because of the shootings in Lewiston.

“We are devastated by the events in Lewiston. Shows scheduled for this weekend in Maine on Saturday, 10/28 and Sunday, 10/29 have been postponed. We are thinking of you all,” they said on X.

The show, “John & Pete,” was scheduled for Portland on Saturday and Bangor on Sunday.

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Copied37d ago / 1:22 AM UTC

Cynthia McFadden

NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden grew up in Auburn, Maine, across the river from Lewiston, and tonight the close-knit communities are hurting.

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Copied37d ago / 1:02 AM UTC

Maine launches website to help people access mental health support

Phil Helsel

Maine Gov. Janet Mills said her administration is launching a website to make it easier for those affected by the mass shootings to get mental health support.

“Incidents of mass violence can lead to a range of emotional reactions, including anxiety, fear, anger, despair and a sense of helplessness that may begin immediately or in the days or weeks following the event,” the website says.

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Copied37d ago / 12:39 AM UTC

Bar shooting suspect had been there before, father of slain manager says

Lester Holt

Robert Card, the man suspected of killing 18 people in mass shootings at a bar and a bowling alley, had been to the bar before, the father of the slain manager there said.

“All of the people over there know him,” Leroy Walker told NBC News’ Lester Holt. “He would actually come to Schemengees; he’d been there off and on.”

Walker said his son, Joseph “Joey” Walker, who was the manager at Schemengees, was killed. Leroy Walker said he did not know Card personally but had seen him before.

The manhunt for Card continues.

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Copied37d ago / 12:28 AM UTC

Maine AG ready to ‘vigorously prosecute these heinous acts’

Abigail Russ

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said that his “heart continues to ache for the loss of life and infliction of harm perpetrated on the people of Lewiston last night” and that his office is “prepared to vigorously prosecute these heinous acts of violence.”

“As citizens across this state mourn the tragic and senseless events that occurred almost 24 hours ago, it is important to give law enforcement the space it requires to conduct its work in this continuing and developing situation,” Frey said in a statement.

He encouraged the public to continue abiding by all shelter-in-place orders.

“Our public safety and law enforcement officials are working tirelessly to follow leads and gather information in order to apprehend the suspect, and our collective support in these ways is crucial,” he said.

He expressed “every confidence” in the law enforcement agencies leading the manhunt and the investigation and said they are using all assets to locate Robert Card.

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Copied37d ago / 12:17 AM UTC

Large law enforcement presence at Bowdoin home as manhunt continues

Sam Brock and Erik Ortiz

BOWDOIN, Maine — Officials were at multiple residences tonight in their search for Lewiston shooting suspect Robert Card, Maine State Police said.

A large law enforcement presence was at a home in Bowdoin, which public records show is believed to be connected to Card. A voice on a bullhorn could be heard making announcements.

State police said on Facebook that law enforcement was at a property and that the announcements are “standard search warrant announcements when executing a warrant to ensure the safety of all involved.”

“It is unknown whether Robert Card is in any of the homes law enforcement will search,” state police said tonight. “Law enforcement officials are simply doing their due diligence by tracking down every lead in an effort to locate and apprehend Card.”

Officials at the property were reciting a message to Card saying that they don’t want to hurt him and that they can guarantee his safety.

“We don’t want to hurt anyone. Come outside to the driveway,” the voice said.

A helicopter could also be heard above the scene.

Law enforcement officers were also at a separate home in Bowdoin earlier in the day as part of the investigation and search for Card, state police said at the time.

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Copied37d ago / 11:53 PM UTC

Suspect’s concerning behavior was reported to police multiple times before shooting

Christina Sterbenz

On several occasions before the mass shooting, people who knew the suspect, Robert Card, found his behavior concerning enough to report it to law enforcement. 

Card, 40, a firearms instructor and longtime member of the Army Reserve, is still at large, and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies are engaged in a multistate manhunt.

After Card began hearing voices that made “horrible” comments about him a couple of months ago, Card’s family reached out to police and his Army Reserve base, his sister-in-law told NBC News. His family had grown “increasingly concerned,” she added. 

In July, service members training alongside Card also reported his erratic behavior to law enforcement, a Defense Department official confirmed to NBC News.

Separately, Card’s unit commander sent him to psychiatric treatment this summer after having become concerned when Card said he was hearing voices and threatened the base, two senior law enforcement officials said.

At the time, Card had already purchased a gun, an official said. 

The assault rifle-style weapon Card is alleged to have used was purchased legally this year, two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter said. Maine does not require background checks on all gun sales, and it does not have a “red flag” law, which typically allows a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Maine, however, does have a “yellow flag” law, which allows police to ask a judge to take away a person’s guns if a medical professional deems the person a danger.

It is not clear whether anyone had employed the law after any of those instances. 

Annemarie Bonner, Jonathan Dienst, Ken Dilanian, Courtney Kube, Abigail Russ and Tom Winter contributed to this report.

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Copied37d ago / 11:27 PM UTC

Married father of 2 wounded in shooting was competing in weekly cornhole tournament

Minyvonne Burke

AUGUSTA, Maine — Kyle Secor, a married father of two girls, is one of the 13 people injured during Wednesday’s rampage. Secor, 25, was competing in a weekly cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar and Grille with friends when he was shot multiple times, his mother, Colleen Secor, said today. 

He is on a ventilator in intensive care at Central Maine Medical Center after he underwent surgery to “repair multiple items on his body,” his mother said. He may have to undergo two more procedures.

“At this point he’s stable. There’s some decisions we have to make in the next 24 hours, but it’s going to be what it’s going to be. We were able to see him. I was able to hold his hand and tell him his mom’s here,” she said. “And we’re just hoping and praying for the best at this point.”

Kyle Secor, who is originally from New York, moved to Lewiston about 10 years ago. He played semiprofessional hockey for several years with the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques before he took up cornhole, his mother said. He would go to Schemengees for its Wednesday night cornhole tournaments.

“All we can ask and pray for right now is that God is on our side,” she said. “He’s got a wife and two beautiful little girls that need their daddy.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:18 PM UTC

3 of the injured remain in critical condition in Lewiston hospital

Phil Helsel

Three patients taken to Central Maine Medical Center after last night’s mass shootings remain in critical condition, the CEO of Central Maine Healthcare said.

Five others are stable, CEO Steven Littleson said. Central Maine Medical Center is part of the health care system, and all but one of the victims from the shooting scenes was taken there.

Littleson said staff members worked with compassion and expertise “when called upon under the most extreme circumstances.”

The hospital had six fully staffed operating centers running at the same time last night after a gunman opened fire at a bar and a bowling alley, he said. Other hospitals sent blood.

Two of the patients who were taken to the hospital were treated and discharged, and another person was transferred to a hospital in Portland. Three died at the hospital, he said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:43 PM UTC

Sen. Collins says ban on high-capacity magazines is more important than guns

Phil Helsel

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said at a news conference tonight that “it is more important that we ban very high-capacity magazines” rather than assault-style weapons.

“I think that would have more input and more effectiveness,” she said.

At the same news conference, Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, said he was reversing course and calling for assault-style rifles to be banned, and Collins was asked whether she would do the same.

Collins said she supported the previous assault weapons ban, which lasted for 10 years but is no longer in effect.

She said she opposed a proposal to expand the assault weapons ban that she said would expand the types of weapons involved, which she said was “based not on functionality but on cosmetic features.”

Collins said she supported efforts to provide funding for red- and yellow-flag laws, which allow people or law enforcement officers to try to get guns taken away from those who pose risks to themselves or others.

“Certainly, there’s always more that can be done,” she said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:37 PM UTC

Gun found in abandoned Subaru is linked to suspect

Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter

A gun was found in a white Subaru linked to the suspect, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Whether it’s the weapon used in the mass shooting is being investigated, the sources said.

The Subaru, which has been identified as belonging to the suspect, was found last night at a boat launch in Lisbon, Maine, state police have said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:24 PM UTC

Rep. Jared Golden calls his opposition to assault weapons ban a mistake after killings

Phil Helsel

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents the Lewiston area, said tonight that his past opposition to bans on assault-style weapons was a mistake.

“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war, like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime,” Golden said.

“The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure,” he said. “Which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing.”

Golden said his past opposition stemmed in part from a desire to protect his family, “a false confidence that our community was above this” and what he said were “many other misjudgments.”

Golden is a co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, which describes itself as a fiscally responsible Democratic group focused on mainstream and pragmatic solutions.

He asked for forgiveness from his constituents and the families of those who lost loved ones.

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Copied37d ago / 10:09 PM UTC

Sen. Collins calls it a ‘dark day’ after worst mass shooting in Maine history

Phil Helsel

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, called today a “dark day” in the wake of mass shootings that left at least 18 people dead in Lewiston.

“This heinous attack, which has robbed the lives of at least 18 Mainers and injured so many more, worst mass shooting that the state of Maine has ever experienced — and could ever imagine,” Collins said at a news conference tonight.

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Copied37d ago / 9:42 PM UTC

Robert Card was not trained as firearms instructor in Army, military says

Courtney Kube

Robert Card has been described as a firearms instructor, but he did not train for that through the Army, a spokesperson said today.

“The Army did not train SFC Card as a firearms instructor, nor did he serve in that capacity for the Army,” Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee said in a statement. SFC refers to Card’s rank of sergeant first class.

“We take matters such as this very seriously, and our primary concern is ensuring that all legal and appropriate actions are taken in accordance with our commitment to upholding the highest standards of conduct among our Soldiers and civilian personnel,” Dubee said. “We will continue to collaborate and support local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”

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Copied37d ago / 9:04 PM UTC

Mass shooting leaves city ‘eerily quiet,’ former mayor says

NBC News

State Rep. Kristen Cloutier, D-Lewiston, former mayor of Lewiston, joins “Meet the Press NOW” to describe the strength of her community after the mass shooting that left at least 18 dead.

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Copied37d ago / 8:56 PM UTC

Patrick Dempsey shares condolences for his hometown of Lewiston

Abigail Russ

Patrick Dempsey, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd in “Grey’s Anatomy” and born in Lewiston, shared condolences for his hometown.

“I am shocked, and deeply saddened by last night’s tragedy in my hometown, Lewiston, Maine,” Dempsey shared in an Instagram post.

“Maine’s great strength is it’s sense of community, and now we are being asked to come together to support everyone that has been devastated by this senseless act. My family and I are heartbroken for victims, their families, and the community.”

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Copied37d ago / 8:48 PM UTC

Concert and ice skating events canceled at famed Maine venue

David K. Li

A concert and weekend ice skating sessions were postponed at one of Lewiston’s most famous landmarks, arena operators said today.

It was best to call off the “events for the safety and security of both you, the patron and our staff,” according to a statement by The Colisée officials.

That venue was known as the Central Maine Youth Center on May 25, 1965, when it played host to the title bout between reigning champ Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston.

The image snapped by John Rooney and Neil Leifer showing Clay, who’d later change his name to Muhammad Ali, standing over Liston is widely regraded as the most famous sports photograph ever taken.

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Copied37d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Jamaican food truck offers free food to first responders in ghost town of Lewiston

Alex Seitz-Wald

Chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel have been offering free food to first responders from their Jamaican food truck.Chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel have been offering free food to first responders from their Jamaican food truck.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

LEWISTON, Maine — Maine’s second-largest city has been transformed into a ghost town by the shooting. Streets are empty, businesses closed, parks deserted. Even major chains like 7-11, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin, the venerable New England favorite, are shuttered.

That’s been making it difficult for some to find food as the lockdown drags on. A mom-and-pop corner shop that was still open was swarmed with customers, clearing shelves of chips and packaged pastries.

One of the only places around to get a hot meal is from a Jamaican food truck, where chef Jeff Bailey and his daughter Gabriel decided to open their business exclusively for first responders, with one catch — they refuse to accept any money.

Their crew has been making runs to drop off jerk chicken, beef and more at the hospital, where medical staff have been working through the night, and have offered free food to police officers and reporters covering the scene.

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Copied37d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

Card could be on a boat or hiding in the woods, retired NYPD hostage negotiator says

Janelle Griffith

Robert J. Louden, a retired chief hostage negotiator for the New York Police Department, said that the hunt for Lewiston shooting suspect Robert Card is “like a spider’s web.” 

“From that parking area where he dumped his car, there’s four distinct possibilities: He killed himself. He got on a boat and went down that little river that’s there. He went into another car or motorcycle or something that was waiting for him. Or there’s a hiking trail. He could be in the woods someplace,” said Louden, now a professor emeritus of criminal justice at Georgian Court University in New Jersey.

“And so, it’s like a spider’s web going out — and you’ve got to follow all those pieces of the web,” Louden said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:16 PM UTC

Maine Sen. Angus King: ‘This is one of the darkest days I can remember’

Andrea Mitchell

Andrea Mitchell is joined by Maine’s independent Sen. Angus King to discuss the ongoing manhunt for the suspect, the impact of this attack on Lewiston’s close-knit community and how Congress should respond.

“This is one of the darkest days I can remember,” King said. “We need to get on to grieving. We’ve got murders, we’ve got deaths, we’ve got families that have to come to grips with this.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

Note found at Robert Card’s home

Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter

Investigators executing a search warrant at suspect Robert Card’s home found a note, four senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.

Card is the suspect in shootings that killed at least 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night.

Investigators are trying to determine the meaning of the note and how it could potentially guide their probe and manhunt, officials said.

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Copied37d ago / 7:48 PM UTC

Servicemembers reported Robert Card’s behavior to law enforcement in July, official says

Courtney Kube and Abigail Russ

Servicemembers training alongside Robert Card reported his erratic behavior to law enforcement in July, a Defense Department official confirmed to NBC News.

On July 16, while training at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, leaders of the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, informed staff that Card, an Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class, was acting erratically.

Out of concern for his safety, the unit requested that law enforcement be contacted, the official said.

New York State Police responded and transported Card to Keller Army Community Hospital at the United States Military Academy for medical evaluation.

“Card was not assigned to West Point as any sort of instructor, to include firearms,” a Military Academy official said. “While his unit supported West Point summer training, our records indicate he did not instruct nor have any interactions with cadets in training.”

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Copied37d ago / 7:36 PM UTC

Lewiston journalist: ‘Quiet shock’ turned to ‘anger,’ ‘worry and frustration’ as manhunt continues

Andrea Mitchell

A mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, left at least 18 people dead and 13 others injured last night. Andrea Mitchell was joined by Judy Meyer, executive director of Sun Journal in Lewiston, and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, who went to school at Bates College in Lewiston.

“When this was all happening last night and overnight, it was really more like quiet shock,” Meyer says. “It’s evolved to this point today as turning into anger and worry and frustration.” 

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Copied37d ago / 7:13 PM UTC

Coast Guard deploys crews to search for Robert Card

David K. Li

The Coast Guard launched sea and air assets in the search for Robert Card today, officials said.

A surveillance plane and crew out of Boothbay have been pulled into the region-wide manhunt, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Diolanda Caballero told NBC News.

Asked if Card could be fleeing in a boat, Caballero would only say that if Coast Guard personnel spot him, they’ve been instructed to notify Maine state police.

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Copied37d ago / 7:06 PM UTC

Lewiston mass shooting is the worst of 2023 so far, Gun Violence Archive says

Rebecca Cohen

The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive is calling the Lewiston mass shooting the worst of the year so far.

It defines “mass shooting” as an event where at least four people were shot, not including the shooter.

Mass shootings in Maine are particularly rare, although this incident comes after another mass shooting in Bowdoin, Maine, earlier this year.

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Copied37d ago / 7:04 PM UTC

Card received mental health treatment after ‘hearing voices,’ officials say

Ken Dilanian and Abigail Russ

Two senior law enforcement officials tell NBC News that Robert Card’s military unit commander sent him to psychiatric treatment this summer. They became concerned after Card said he was hearing voices and threatened the base. 

He spent about two weeks undergoing in-patient, psychiatric treatment and was released. It is not clear what further action was taken. It is also unclear whether his commanders reported his concerning behavior to the FBI. The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

The officials said the weapon used was a sniper rifle with .308 caliber bullets.

Earlier this year, the federal government paid a $144 million settlement to the families of victims of the 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting after a judge found that the Air Force had failed to report behavior that should have prohibited the shooter from purchasing a firearm. 

In Card’s case, the official said, it appears he purchased the gun before he was sent for treatment. 

There are also questions about whether he should have been subject to Maine’s “yellow flag” law, which allows police to request that a judge take away a person’s guns if a medical professional deems them a danger.

The officials also said Card owns several acres of land in Maine.

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Copied37d ago / 6:57 PM UTC

Bates College students air frustrations over school’s handling of lockdown

Alex Seitz-Wald

Bates College in Maine.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

LEWISTON, Maine — Some Bates College students are voicing their frustrations over the school’s handling of the shelter-in-place order, which have left some unable to eat for over 12 hours.

Freddie Curtis, a junior from outside Boston, was behind the wheel of a car with four friends heading off campus to find food — a challenge, given that most restaurants are closed during the manhunt for the shooting suspect.

“We’re all really hungry,” he said. The students said they haven’t eaten since 7 p.m. Wednesday night as students have been assigned staggered windows for dining hall access, and their next one is more than 18 hours after their last meal.

Bates College in Maine.Bates College in Maine.Alex Seitz-Wald / NBC News

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Copied37d ago / 6:50 PM UTC

Robert Card’s family says they alerted authorities to mental health concerns

Melissa Chan

The family of Robert Card said the suspected gunman had been experiencing an “acute” mental health episode for months and had a “manic belief” that people were saying negative things about him before the Wednesday night massacre.

Card, 40, a firearms instructor and longtime Army reservist, began to hear voices that were saying “horrible” things about him a couple of months ago when he was fitted for high-powered hearing aids, according to Katie Card, who is married to his brother.

“He was picking up voices that he had never heard,” she told NBC News. “His mind was twisting them around. He was humiliated by the things that he thought were being said.”

The family alerted police and military officials when they grew concerned about his mental health, Card’s sister-in-law said.

Read the full story here. 

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Copied37d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

Shelter in place order extended in Maine as manhunt continues

Abigail Russ

Maine’s Emergency Management Agency, MEMA, is extending the shelter in place order for Androscoggin County — which contains Lewiston, site of the shootings — and nearby Northern Sagadahoc County.

As the search from Robert Card continues, MEMA asked residents to “please make sure your homes and vehicles are secured,” in a post on X.

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Copied37d ago / 6:12 PM UTC

Father of bar manager killed in shooting says his son tried to stop the gunman

Lester Holt

Leroy Walker found out his son, Joseph “Joey” Walker, is among the dead in the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. Police told his family that Joey, a manager at Schemengees Bar & Grille, tried to stop the gunman from shooting anyone else before he was killed. Leroy speaks out to Lester Holt.

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Copied37d ago / 5:59 PM UTC

‘We cannot accept this’: White House press secretary addresses Lewiston shootings

NBC News

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre began a press briefing by addressing the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, highlighting what steps the Biden administration has taken on gun reform and calling on legislators to act.

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Copied37d ago / 5:50 PM UTC

Locals ‘shocked’ by shooting that rocked their ‘safe’ community

George Solis

LEWISTON, Maine — Lewiston residents Hunter Kissam and Mia Zellner said they were shocked by the bloodshed that unfolded in their city last night. 

“It’s been a major, major shock,” Zellner said Thursday in front of a sign asking residents to shelter in place.

“We never expected something like this to happen here,” she added. “We always felt super safe.”

Kissam called the shooting “senseless violence.”

“I mean, waking up this morning, I still couldn’t believe it, and now we got less than five hours of sleep last night and it was just unreal to just watch the helicopter moving on the map on TV and hearing it come closer to our apartment,” said Kissam.

“I hope that he’s caught. I hope he’s brought to justice, that needs to happen,” said Zellner.

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Copied37d ago / 5:46 PM UTC

Shooting ripples through Maine’s deaf community

Alex Seitz-Wald

LEWISTON, Maine — The shooting hit Maine’s deaf community especially hard, since several of its members were participating in an event at Schemengees Bar organized by American Deaf Cornhole, a group that puts on tournaments of the beanbag game across the country.

“American Deaf Cornhole wants to offer our deepest condolences to Maine families and friends, especially our deaf cornhole players who lost their family/friends,” the group said on Facebook. “It is a time like this that we must come together as a community and support one another. Sending our thoughts and prayers to all affected by this tragic event. Our hearts goes out to Lewiston community!”

Catherine Dunn was told second-hand by an ASL interpreter that her stepson, Bryan McFarlane, 41, who is deaf, was killed at the event, but she was still searching for official information early Thursday afternoon and feared the worst.

“I don’t know if he’s alive or dead,” she told NBC News.

She’s also concerned about her stepson’s dog.

“He takes his dog everywhere,” she said. “I don’t know if his dog is in his truck at Schemengees’ bar, still. Or if he’s at his house, or if he’s still alive.”

The city’s animal control officer and local humane society did not respond to requests for more information about the dog from NBC News.

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Copied37d ago / 5:30 PM UTC

Maine State Police release detailed timeline of shootings

NBC News

  • At 6:56 p.m., Wednesday, October 25, 2023 Auburn Communications Center was notified that a man walked into the Spare Time Recreation on Mollison Street in Lewiston and began shooting. This was confirmed by multiple 911 calls that followed.
  • At 7:08 p.m., The Auburn Communications Center received multiple calls that a man had come into Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street and began shooting.
  • Multiple law enforcement agencies and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the scenes.
  •  At 8:06 pm, police released a photo of the shooter to the media.
  • At 9:26 p.m., the Lewiston Police Department received a call identifying the man in the distributed photos as Robert Card, age 40, of Bowdoin, Maine.
  • At 9:56 p.m., the Lisbon Police Department notified Lewiston Police that they had located a white Subaru at the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lisbon. The vehicle was identified as belonging to Robert Card. 
  • Police have confirmed that there were seven people killed at Sparetime Recreation, and eight people killed at Schemengees Bar and Grille. Three addition people died after being transported to Central Maine Medical Hospital in Lewiston for treatment. An additional 13 people were injured in the shootings. 
  • Names of the victims are not available at this time as police continue to identify victims and contact family members.
  • Currently there are over 350 law enforcement personnel involved in the search for Robert Card, comprised of officers from all over the state, and national agencies as well. 
  • If anyone has any information on Robert Card or about the shootings please call 207.213.9526 or 207.509.9002.
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Copied37d ago / 5:16 PM UTC

Bates College still in lockdown, classes canceled through Friday

Annemarie Bonner

Bates College in Lewistown is still under lockdown and classes have been canceled. The school released a statement saying that there are no current reports of any Bates students or employees among the victims of the shootings.

And in a later announcement, the college said classes will also be canceled tomorrow. If the lockdown is lifted overnight, classes will still remain canceled. They wrote that they will be in touch again in the morning to discuss any additional modifications.

Lewiston Public Schools also announced there will be no classes on Friday. “We remain in a shelter in place situation,” Superintendent Jake Langlais announced on X. “We will not open buildings or run bus transportation. If we receive updated information we will update everyone as we are able to.”

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Copied37d ago / 5:14 PM UTC

Kamala Harris addresses shootings in Maine: ‘It does not have to be this way’

NBC News

Vice President Kamala Harris began her remarks at an event with the Australian prime minister by addressing the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that killed at least 18 people.

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Copied37d ago / 5:11 PM UTC

Hotel in Maine is locking doors, confirming reservations before letting guests enter

Minyvonne Burke

AUGUSTA, Maine — Communities surrounding Lewiston are on edge as authorities continue to search for the gunman. Fairfield Inn & Suites, located roughly 35 miles away in Augusta, Maine, locked the front door to the lobby and are confirming reservations before letting people on the property.

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Copied37d ago / 5:09 PM UTC

Massachusetts police do not believe Robert Card is in the state

Abigail Russ

Massachusetts State Police do not believe Robert Card is in the state, but said in a statement today they are continuing to monitor for any developments that “affect our state.”

Several patrols were deployed to the state’s boarder with New Hampshire to be on the lookout for the suspect’s white Subaru, MSP said.

That deployment was standard protocol and “there was no intelligence that suggested the suspect had fled toward Massachusetts,” the statement said.

That white Subaru was later found abandoned in Maine. 

MSP Colonel John Mawn has been in contact with his counterparts across New England and is ready to deploy aid and assistance if requested. A state trooper, and his K9 partner are currently assisting in Lewiston as an ATF Task Force Officer.

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Copied37d ago / 5:04 PM UTC

Gun used in shooting was purchased legally, sources say

Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Annemarie Bonner

The assault rifle-style weapon used by Robert Card, the man accused in the mass shooting, was purchased legally this year, according to two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter.

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Copied37d ago / 4:54 PM UTC

Father of bar manager killed in shooting calls it ‘nightmare we don’t understand’

Rebecca Cohen

Leroy Walker learned Thursday morning that his son, a manager at the Lewiston bar where a gunman opened fire Wednesday night, was killed in the attack.

Walker, a city council member in Auburn, Maine, told NBC News that state police informed him that his son, Joseph Walker, was one of the 18 victims who died in Wednesday’s shooting.

Walker said it took over 14 hours to be notified about his son, saying his family was “suffering and dying in a nightmare we don’t understand.”

“None of us slept, we were up all night,” he said. “We didn’t know where to go, who to run to. They didn’t notify any of us.”

He said his youngest son called him Wednesday night with news that Joseph Walker had been shot at the Schemengees Bar & Grille.

“I almost fell to my knees,” he said. Walker, through tears, added that he sends condolences to all of the other affected families.

He said Joseph Walker was a “great, great son” and a “loving husband” who had two grandchildren and a step son living at home with him and his wife.

He added that his son “grew the business tremendously” at Schemengees, starting the sports games the bar offered to raise money.

“He’d help anybody, work with anybody, put on any tournament they wanted, raised money for many, many groups,” Walker said of his son.

“Hell of a loss for the community,” Walker continued. “He has done everything that he could in his community.”

Earlier Thursday, he said he hadn’t heard from his son and presumed he had been killed.

“My son is dead and I know he’s dead,” Walker told NBC. “I know it as well as I know I’m standing here telling you, because he’s not here and he’s not at any other hospital.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:39 PM UTC

L.L. Bean closing stores in light of shooting

Annemarie Bonner

L.L. Bean, the Maine-based clothing and outdoor lifestyle retailer, announced that they are closing their stores, manufacturing facilities and corporate headquarters in the state in light of the Lewiston shootings.

“Our priority is, and will remain, the health and safety of our employees and customers,” the company said in a statement.

“Maine is more than just a place to us; it’s our home, our community, and our family. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy in our beloved state. We urge all of our neighbors to stay safe and look out for one another while we process these events together.”

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Copied37d ago / 4:27 PM UTC

Merrick Garland says federal officials are on the ground in Maine

Annemarie Bonner

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the FBI and other federal agencies are on the ground assisting in the investigation of the Lewiston shootings.

“I am heartbroken for those who have lost loved ones, for those who have been injured, and for the entire Lewiston community,” Garland said in a statement. “No community should have to endure the horrific mass shootings that have become routine in our country.”

He added that the FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals are in Maine to support the investigation and help with victim assistance.

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Copied37d ago / 4:08 PM UTC

100 off-duty hospital workers responded to Lewiston shootings

David K. Li

About 100 off-duty Central Maine Medical Center employees jumped into action on Wednesday night when wounded patients first arrived at Maine hospitals, officials said.

“We had some heroic efforts by our team members last night, continuing into today,” Dr. John Alexander, chief operating officer and chief medical officer of Central Maine Healthcare, told reporters.

Central Maine received its first patient at 7:24 p.m. on Wednesday and kept receiving the wounded for another 45 minutes.

The trauma center took in 14 patients — three who died, eight admitted, two treated and released, and one sent to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, the hospital chief added.

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Copied37d ago / 4:06 PM UTC

Bowling alley that was site of shooting says ‘none of this seems real’

Annemarie Bonner

The owners of Just-In-Time Recreation, where seven people were found dead following the Lewiston mass shootings, posted a statement on Facebook expressing their shock and sorrow.

“None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is. We are devastated for our community and our staff,” the statement said.

“We lost some amazing and whole hearted people from our bowling family and community last night. There are no words to fix this or make it better. We are praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts.”

After the post went up this morning, hundreds flocked to the comments to express their thoughts of heartbreak, prayers, and sadness.

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Copied37d ago / 3:55 PM UTC

Newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson calls Lewiston shootings ‘horrific tragedy’

NBC News

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., addressed the shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that killed at least 18 people, calling it a “horrific tragedy.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

Biden calls on Congress to ban assault weapons

Ginger Gibson

President Joe Biden issued a statement saying he and first lady Jill Biden are praying for the victims.

“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,” he said in the statement.

He went on to call for Congress to pass a ban of the type of weapon used in this shooting.

“Today, in the wake of yet another tragedy, I urge Republican lawmakers in Congress to fulfill their duty to protect the American people. Work with us to pass a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, to require safe storage of guns, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers,” he said. “This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars — physical and mental — of this latest attack.”

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Copied37d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

Gov. Janet Mills: ‘This is a dark day for Maine’

David K. Li

Gov. Janet Mills declared that today is a “dark day for Maine” and the Pine Tree State’s 1.3 million residents, who are reeling from America’s latest mass shooting.

“This is a dark day for Maine,” Mills told reporters. “I know it’s hard for us to think about healing when our hearts are broken.”  

Wednesday night’s attacks in Lewiston took an emotional toll on the governor, who met her husband and raised their children in Maine’s second-biggest city.

“Look, Lewiston is a special place,” she said. “It’s a close-knit community with a long history of hard work, of persistence, of faith, of opening its big heart to people everywhere.“

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Copied37d ago / 3:19 PM UTC

Timeline of 911 calls

Marlene Lenthang

The first 911 call came in to the Auburn communications center at 6:56 p.m. Wednesday night regarding a male who was shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, in Lewiston, William G. Ross with Maine State Police said Thursday.

Then at 7:08 p.m., the communication center received multiple calls about an “active shooter” inside Schemengees Bar and Grille, about 4 miles away from Just-In-Time, also in Lewiston.

“A large law enforcement response from multiple surrounding agencies assisted the Lewiston police department in trying to identify who this individual was, what was happening,” Ross said.

“As you can imagine this was a very fast paced, fast moving, very fluid scene, very dangerous scene, that these guys and girls were going into,” he added.

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Copied37d ago / 3:11 PM UTC

13 injured in Lewiston shootings

Marlene Lenthang

Gov. Janet Mills said in a briefing Thursday that 13 people were injured in the shootings that erupted Wednesday night in Lewiston.

It’s not clear how many of those are in critical condition.

Police have not shared details such as the ages of those killed or wounded.

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Copied37d ago / 3:11 PM UTC

Where the fatal victims were found

Marlene Lenthang

Officials said in a news briefing Thursday that 18 people were killed in the Lewiston shootings Wednesday night.

So far, eight of the victims who died have been identified, and 10 are still pending identification, William G. Ross with Maine State Police, which is leading the investigation, said.

Map of Lewiston, Maine, showing the location of Just-In-Time recreation and Schemengees Bar and Grille, the site of the Oct. 25, 2023 shootings.Location of Lewiston attacks

Seven of the fatal victims were found at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley (formerly known as Sparetime): one female and six males, all suffering apparent gunshot wounds, Ross said.

Another eight of the victims who died were found at Schemengees Bar and Grille: seven males found inside and one outside, all also with apparent gunshot wounds.

Multiple people were transferred to area hospitals, three of whom were pronounced deceased, Ross said.

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Copied37d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

Robert Card named as suspect, arrest warrant for 8 counts of murder issued

David K. Li

An arrest warrant was issued for Robert Card, charging him with at least eight counts of murder, police said today.

The eight counts are based on the identification of eight of the 18 people gunned down in a series of shootings on Monday night in Lewiston, Maine State Police Col. William Ross.

Card’s whereabouts are still unknown.

“We’re actively searching for him,” Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told reporters. “ We don’t know his location and I’ll leave it at that.” 

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Copied37d ago / 2:39 PM UTC

Robert Card has served in the Army Reserve since 2002

Melissa Chan

Robert Card, who police say is a person of interest in the Lewiston massacre, is a longtime member of the Army Reserve with no combat deployments, the Army confirmed today.

Sgt. 1st Class Card is a petroleum supply specialist who enlisted in December 2002, according to Army spokesperson Bryce Dubee.

Card’s awards include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal x2, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.”

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Copied37d ago / 2:25 PM UTC

People knew to ‘stay away’ from Robert Card, Maine resident says

Doha Madani

Robert Card, the person of interest in the Lewiston mass shooting, lived in what local resident Liam Kent described as “basically a compound” in the neighboring town of Bowdoin, Maine.”The family and Robert, they’re all gun fanatics,” Kent said. “For all intents and purposes, they are very much associated with right-wing militias. It’s known in the town to stay away from them and not approach them.”

Kent said he vividly remembers when he went to the store as a kid and saw Card at a nearby weigh station with a dead deer. Card was grinning, covered in blood with a gun still strapped to his body.

“Also they would shoot guns all the time, you could hear them every day after school,” Kent added. “It was like clockwork.”

Some of the victims were people Kent knew, he said, declining to identify anyone before officials made names public.

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Copied37d ago / 2:21 PM UTC

Maine Gun Safety Coalition blames Lewiston shootings on ‘weak gun laws’

Gavon Laessig

A nonprofit organization that advocates for gun safety legislation in Maine issued a statement today directly blaming the Lewiston shootings on “weak gun laws.”

“The Maine Gun Safety Coalition grieves with the families and friends who lost loved ones in the mass shooting last night,” the statement said. “We watched in horror as the tragedy in Lewiston, Maine happened before our eyes — the result of our weak gun laws.”

“We call on our elected officials tonight to stop bowing to the gun lobby and look squarely at the face of what has happened in Maine’s second largest city,” the group said. “At a minimum, the Maine Gun Safety Coalition believes an assault weapons ban is necessary to try to prevent more such tragedies in our state.”

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Copied37d ago / 2:11 PM UTC

Flags at White House, other federal locations lowered to half-staff in honor of victims

Molly Roecker

Biden issued a proclamation today ordering the White House flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the Maine shooting victims.

“I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations,” the order read.

The flags will be lowered from today through sunset Monday.

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Copied37d ago / 2:09 PM UTC

University of Maine, where Robert Card once studied, cancels class

David K. Li

The University of Maine, where the person of interest, Robert Card, once attended 20 years ago, canceled classes today.

Students and staff in Orono, which is more than 100 miles away from last night’s shootings in Lewiston, need “this time to support each other, connect with loved ones, and grieve for those whose lives were tragically lost,” according to a university statement.

Card went to Maine for three academic years, from fall 2001 through spring 2004, studying engineering technology, university spokesman Eric Gordon said. Card left the school without graduating, he added.

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Copied37d ago / 1:40 PM UTC

18 dead, 60 injured, sources say

Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst

The Lewiston shootings killed 18 people and critically injured four, two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told NBC News.

Another 60 people have been wounded, though some of their injuries are minor ones associated with fleeing, they said.

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Copied37d ago / 1:00 PM UTC

Maine on guns: No background checks, no ‘red flag’ laws

Marlene Lenthang and The Associated Press

Maine does not require background checks on all gun sales and does not have “red flag” laws, according to Everytown For Gun Safety.

“Red flag” laws, also known as extreme risk laws, allow a judge to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns if there’s evidence the individual poses a serious risk based on a family or law enforcement report. 

Maine does not ban high-capacity magazines and does not require a permit to carry concealed guns.

Everytown ranked Maine No. 25 among all states for the strength of gun laws, saying: “State leaders must do more to prevent gun violence.” 

Proposals to require background checks for private gun sales and create a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases failed earlier this year. Proposals that focused on school security and banning bump stocks failed in 2019.

Residents have also voted down some attempts to tighten gun laws in Maine. A proposal to require background checks for gun sales failed in a 2016 public vote.

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Copied37d ago / 12:45 PM UTC

Lewiston is the 565th mass shooting of the year: Gun Violence Archive

Doha Madani

The shooting in Lewiston is mass shooting No. 565 of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as at least four victims shot and killed excluding the shooter.

It’s also the deadliest.

Although a final death toll has yet to be reported — at least 18 people were killed — this is already the most fatalities this year for a mass shooting event.

The second-most deadly shooting of the year is the January attack in Monterey Park, California, in which 11 people were killed in targeted attacks at dance halls during a Lunar New Year festival.

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Copied37d ago / 12:09 PM UTC

Neighboring states on alert and in contact with Maine authorities

Doha Madani

Both Connecticut and New Hampshire said their state police departments are on alert and monitoring the manhunt for the person of interest in the Lewiston shooting.

“No specific threats have been received, but in the interest of public safety, we are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close communication with our regional law enforcement partners,” the Connecticut State Police said in a statement this morning.

Robert L. Quinn, New Hampshire’s safety commissioner, urged people to report any suspicious activity to local police.

“We stand with our friends and partners in Maine during this time,” he said. “We are asking all New Hampshire residents to stay vigilant.”

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Copied37d ago / 11:57 AM UTC

Witnesses were in disbelief, mistook ‘pops’ for a ‘Halloween joke,’ Auburn mayor says

Marlene Lenthang

Jason Levesque, the mayor of Auburn, a town that neighbors Lewiston, said people who witnessed last night’s shooting were in shock and disbelief.

“There’s a lot of different snippets here and there, and you try to put them all together. My mind just goes to a massive scene of confusion and chaos,” he said on NBC’s “TODAY” this morning.

“Disbelief actually, that was a common thing I did hear,” the mayor said. “They thought it was some sort of Halloween joke or something, the initial pops if you would, until everything started escalating quite rapidly.”

Levesque explained that Lewiston and Auburn are one community, separated by a river.

Officials have said shots were fired at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille. Levesque said the bowling alley was hosting a youth night last night and Schemengees is a place beloved by locals who play cornhole.

“I know for a fact we’re going to stay strong. We’re going to find the individual who did this and bring him to justice quickly, very quickly,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 11:54 AM UTC

Morning dawns on the empty streets of Lewiston

Emma Barnett

Lewiston, Maine, at dawn.Lewiston at dawn today.Robert F. Bukaty / AP

LEWISTON — Things are quiet this morning in this community in shock.

At Bates College, less than 2 miles from one of the shooting sites, little movement beyond campus security could be seen as students remain on lockdown.

Most residents are still sheltering in place, a request from local police as multiple law enforcement agencies search for the gunman who opened fire at a local bar and bowling alley. The only people on the street are police or fellow members of the media.

A police officer noted that a handful of people were still waiting at a nearby middle school, which has been set up as a family reunification center. Twelve hours after the shooting, many are still waiting to learn the state of their loved ones.

Police patrol at Schemengees Bar, the day after a mass shooting, in Lewiston, Maine.Police patrol at Schemengees Bar, the day after a mass shooting, in Lewiston today.Joseph Prezioso / AFP – Getty Images

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Copied37d ago / 11:52 AM UTC

Biden offers federal support in calls with governor and members of Congress

Monica Alba and Caroline Kenny

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden left a state dinner with the prime minister of Australia last night to call Gov. Janet Mills, Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and Rep. Jared Golden and offer full federal support in the wake of the mass shooting, a senior White House official said.

The White House also said the president had been briefed on what’s known so far about the shooting and will continue to be updated.

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Copied37d ago / 11:38 AM UTC

College between shooting sites says no students, staff among victims

NBC News

Bates College, a liberal arts school situated between the two Lewiston businesses where shots were fired last night, said that no students or employees were killed in the shootings.

The school remains on lockdown, officials said, and classes have been canceled for the day.

Public schools in Portland, which is about 35 miles south of Lewiston, have also been called off, district officials said. It is among a growing number of districts that have canceled school during the manhunt.

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Copied37d ago / 11:20 AM UTC

Maine Department of Public Safety to provide update this morning

NBC News

As more communities are asked to shelter in place, Maine law enforcement officials are preparing to provide an update on last night’s fatal shootings and the search for a person of interest.

The Maine Department of Public Safety will offer a briefing at 10:30 a.m. from Lewiston City Hall. 

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Copied37d ago / 10:51 AM UTC

A look at the community reeling from the shootings

Cynthia McFadden

Lewiston has always been a blue-collar working-class community — separated from its sister city of Auburn by the Androscoggin River, which was once so polluted by mills that you smelled it before you ever saw it.

Between the 1950s and ’60s, the river was effectively used as an open sewer, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, with large stretches devoid of any fish.

Bates Mill, a textile factory in Lewiston, was a major employer with thousands of French Canadians working there back in the early part of the 1900s. Today, there is still a vibrant French Canadian community in the area, a modern-day reminder of the labor migration.   

Known locally as the twin cities, or “L-A,” the communities of Lewiston and Auburn have about 60,000 residents.

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Copied37d ago / 10:45 AM UTC

‘I just feel numb,’ says local bar owner whose staff went on lockdown

The Associated Press

Melinda Small, the owner of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, said her staff immediately locked their doors and moved all 25 customers and employees away from the entrance after a customer reported hearing about the shooting at the bowling alley less than a quarter-mile away.

Soon, the police flooded the roadway and a police officer eventually escorted everyone out of the building.

“I am honestly in a state of shock. I am blessed that my team responded quickly and everyone is safe,” Small said. “But at the same time, my heart is broken for this area and for what everyone is dealing with. I just feel numb.”

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Copied37d ago / 10:26 AM UTC

More communities urged to stay at home as manhunt widens

Emma Barnett

LEWISTON — Law enforcement officials are widening shelter-in-place orders as the manhunt for a person of interest in the deadly shootings continues.

“We are expanding the shelter in place advisory and school closings to include the town of Bowdoin,” Maine State Police said early this morning, urging residents to stay home and inside.

Bowdoin is about 15 miles east from the sites of last night’s shootings.

More than 100 local and federal investigators are working to locate Card, police said.

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Copied37d ago / 10:18 AM UTC

‘Why in Lewiston, Maine?’

Emma Barnett

LEWISTON, Maine —  In a town where most everyone knows most everyone else, Mar Mcenerey says it’s unfathomable that anyone would commit such a horrible act of violence.

“I’m gonna start locking my doors at night,” she said. “I’ve never locked my door once at night, I leave them wide open.”

Mcenerey woke from a nap to the news of the deadly shooting last night and felt compelled to rush to the area of the shootings that killed at least a dozen people. She stopped by her mother’s house on the way to make sure her doors were locked.

Living just four miles away, Mcenerey spends a lot of time in the area. Her mother’s doctor’s office is nearby, and the two often get something to eat at the Subway down the road from the Sparetime Recreation.

“I feel sad, like I’m probably getting ready to cry. … I want to know who, where, when. Why, like, why would he do this?” Mcenery said. “Like why in Lewiston, Maine? … What happened at the bowling alley or the Schemengees that would cause someone to come back and open fire like that?”

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Copied37d ago / 10:04 AM UTC

Bulletin includes recent concerns about person of interest

Daniel Arkin and Jason Abbruzzese

A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said Card was a trained firearms instructor and was believed to be in the Army Reserve.

It added that law enforcement said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.”

The bulletin said Card was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this summer and then released. NBC News has not been able to independently verify the bulletin’s statements about Card’s history.

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Copied37d ago / 9:50 AM UTC

School districts cancel classes amid manhunt

Doha Madani

The Oxford Hills School District and Lisbon Public Schools have announced school closures today as authorities continue to search for the gunman.

“The events in the Lewiston/ Auburn area yesterday still continue to unfold, so out of an abundance of caution, our schools will close for today,” the Oxford Hills School District said in a Facebook post, noting that calls went out to families at 5 a.m. local time.

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Copied37d ago / 9:38 AM UTC

Lisbon police ask residents to keep sheltering in place

Doha Madani

Residents of Lisbon have been asked to stay put this morning as police continue their shelter-in-place recommendation.

Police said there is a specific emphasis for those between Mill Street in Lisbon Center and Main Street in Lisbon Falls. Many of the businesses in that area will also be closed.

“Your cooperation with this recommendation is greatly appreciated as we work with several other law enforcement agencies to assure the residents and businesses in the community can go about their daily activities safely,” police said.

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Copied37d ago / 9:19 AM UTC

Bowler climbed barefoot into pin machine to escape shooting

The Associated Press

One bowler, who identified himself only as Brandon, said he heard about 10 shots, thinking the first was a balloon 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 said.

Brandon said he scrambled down the length of the alley, sliding into the pin area and climbing up to hide in the machinery. He was among a busload of survivors driven to a middle school in the neighboring city of Auburn to be reunited with family and friends.

“I was putting on my bowling shoes when it started. I’ve been barefoot for five hours,” he said.

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Copied37d ago / 9:03 AM UTC

Road closures announced as manhunt goes on

Doha Madani

Lewiston Maine Police Department announced road closures as the search for the gunman continues.

  • Mollison Way
  • River Roadd from Locust Street to South Avenue

Residents will be permitted into the closed area on River Road, police said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:41 AM UTC

Business reels from attack: ‘How can we make any sense of this’

Doha Madani

Schemengees Bar and Grill, one of the locations attacked, posted an emotional Facebook message in the aftermath.

“My heart is crushed,” the post said. “I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turn upside down for no good reason. We loss great people in this community. How can we make any sense of this. Sending out prayers to everyone.”

The post was not signed identifying the writer.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

‘We’re hoping and praying’ victims are OK, friend says

Phil Helsel

Jeremy Janes said he was working at a foundry near Schemengees Bar when gunshots were heard and the facility was locked down.

“Immediately we locked down, and closed our doors and we closed the shop,” he told NBC Boston outside a hospital in Lewiston.

Janes said he heard his friend’s son had been shot but that “he’s doing OK.”

“We’re hoping and praying that everyone’s OK, and he’s OK,” he added.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

Photo: Police secure the area around Central Maine Medical Center

The Associated Press

Law enforcement officers carry rifles outside Central Maine Medical Center after an active shooter situation was declared in Lewiston last evening.

mass shooting event police guard securitySteven Senne / AP

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

At least 15 to 20 dead, dozens injured in Maine shootings

Jonathan Dienst

The number of people believed to be killed in the shootings is 15 to 20, according to law enforcement sources.

Up to 50 people may be injured, although not all of whom were shot. Some of the wounded reportedly had injuries from a stampede, the sources said.

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Copied37d ago / 8:23 AM UTC

All Lewiston municipal buildings closed today

Phil Helsel

The city of Lewiston said that all municipal buildings are closed today as the hunt for the shooter who caused multiple casualties in the city last evening continues, the city government said.

Schools are also closed. People were told to shelter in place after the shootings. Police identified a bar and a bowling alley as scenes.

The city said that nonemergency personnel should stay home.

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