The bowling alley killer who shot at least 18 people dead in Maine could have made his getaway on a jet ski, police believe.
Army Reservist Robert Card, 40, is suspected of being responsible for the massacre at a bowling alley and pool hall in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night, inuring 13 and killing at least 18 people – the deadliest mass shooting of the year.
Armored tanks and SWAT teams scoured a waterway entry to the Androscoggin River in the early hours of Thursday morning after Card’s empty white Subaru Outback was found abandoned at a boat dock in Miller Park.
Card’s boat, a 15-ft Bayliner is also missing, according to reports.
Marine records seen by AlertContent.com show that Card registered a 2019 Sea Doo jet ski in his name in June, sparking fears that he could have used the watercraft to flee investigators after opening fire.
Maine State Police aircraft searched over a small area of the river in the early hours Thursday in a bid to find Card, who authorities say suffered from mental health issues.
They said a blue Chevy Suburban with a Maine registration plate 6625ZD believed to be carrying Card crossed into Massachusetts on the I-93 at 8:01 Thursday morning.
They described him as ‘believed to be armed and dangerous’.
A shelter in place advisory has been expanded from Lewiston to Lisbon and Bowdoin, with residents urged to remain inside as the gunman remains at large.
Officers were seen outside his home in Bowdoin on Thursday morning, with swathes of roads across the state being shut down in a bid to apprehend the ‘highly skilled’ firearms specialist.
A gunman has killed at least 18 people and injured 13 in the town of Lewiston, Maine. Police in Lewiston are hunting for the suspect, pictured at the Sparetime recreation center. The first call came in for Sparetime at 7:15pm local time (12.15am BST)
Police issued a photo of this car which they believe belongs to Card. Sheriffs said at 11:20pm on Wednesday the car was found abandoned in the town of Lisbon, about seven miles away
Marine records seen by AlertContent.com show that Card registered a 2019 Sea Doo jet ski in his name in June, sparking fears that he could have used the watercraft to flee investigators after opening fire. The same model of Card’s jet ski is pictured
The shooter used an AR-15-style rifle to open fire inside the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley at about 7pm Wednesday and then nearby Schemengees Bar and Grille. Lewiston councilor Robert McCarthy said on Thursday morning the death toll was up to 18, and the town was struggling to handle ‘this kind of a shooting event.’
Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist and firearms instructor, has been named as the suspect in the murder of 18 people in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday
Four black hearses arrived on the scene at Schemengees where Card is suspected to have opened fire last night.
The vehicles crossed one of the many road detours to access the scene as officers continued to sweep for evidence.
Lewiston, a city of about 38,000, is on lockdown as police hunt for Card who was committed this summer with mental health issues. He previously reported hearing voices and threatened to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.
‘Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal work to locate Robert Card who is a person of interest in the Lewiston shootings,’ Maine State police said on Facebook. Lisbon Chief of police Ryan McGee has called the entire police department to assist in the search and closed local businesses.
Card’s movements after the shooting are still clouded in uncertainty. The Coast Guard told The Messenger that his Bayliner was missing and a search is ongoing in the Kennebec River.
. Survivors have described how they escaped by fleeing down bowling lanes and hiding behind pins as the gunman used an AR-15-style rifle to open fire while children were playing – with teenagers among the injured.
Meghan Hutchinson described the horror when her daughter was grazed by a bullet in the bowling alley as they were running away from the gunman.
‘We were in the back room. Another child came in whose arm had a massive … was bleeding profusely. So we barricaded in there and another parent was in the room with me. She had a phone and she called 911,’ the mother told WMTW.
The gunman, wearing a brown hoodie, is seen in Lewiston on Wednesday night. Police believe it is Robert Card
A woman is hugged by a man at a reunification center at Auburn Middle School after shootings in Lewiston
Police officers in tactical gear get ready in the Lisbon High School gymnasium as an active search for the shooter is underway
A heavy police presence was outside the Central Maine Medical Center on Thursday morning, with police standing at every entrance with high powered rifles. The hospital is under locked down and no visitors are allowed.
The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agents have joined the search. Detectives said they are looking into cellphone signals, social media and electronic records to build a timeline of his movements before the shooting.
The mayor of Auburn, a town next to Lewistown, said on TODAY that some of the witnesses thought the rampage was a Halloween prank.
Jason Levesque said: ‘They thought it was some sort of Halloween joke or something, the initial pops if you would, until everything started escalating quite rapidly.’
An unidentified mother asked for prayers for her 22-year-old son, who was hit four times and is on a ventilator. She told WMTV about 20 other people were waiting for updates on their loved ones at the hospital.
Survivor Riley Dumont said her 11-year-old daughter was playing in the children’s bowling league when she heard several gunshots. She told ABC News her father, a retired police officer, rushed the family into a corner.
‘I kind of laid on top of (my daughter), and my mom was kind of on top of me. We had two other kids with us and two other mothers as well,’ Dumont said. At least seven people were killed in the first shooting.
One bowler, who only identified himself by his first name Brandon, said he heard 10 shots ring out before he ran down the alley barefoot and climbed inside the bowling machinery to hide from the gunman.
Residents of both Lewiston and nearby Lisbon and Bowdoin have been advised to not go outside on Thursday morning as the the gunman remains at large
A heavy police presence is outside the Central Maine Medical Center on Thursday morning, with police standing at every entrance with high powered rifles
Describing the moment that the shooter opened fire, Brandon said: ‘We were inside, just a normal night of bowling. Out of nowhere he just came in and there was a loud pop.
‘I thought it was a balloon, 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 down the lane and I slid basically in where the pins are and climbed on the machine.
Brandon, who stayed on top of the machines for about ten minutes until the cops arrived, said that the gunman was around 15ft behind him. ‘He was close, very close,’ he added.
‘I just went there to bowl by myself and I wasn’t even in there 10 minutes, I just walked in the place. I was putting on my bowling shoes when it started. I’ve been barefoot for five hours.’
Jason J. Levesque told CNN that the youngest victims of the shootings were teenagers, adding that trauma specialists and grief counselors were at the scene.
Chilling CCTV images show Card, from Bowdoin, Maine, pointing his rifle as he walked into the bowling alley, while dramatic footage shows terrified people running for their lives.
Card, from Bowdoin, Maine, is seen on a fishing trip
CCTV images show how the shooter was armed with a rifle when he carried out the mass shooting
The ‘armed and dangerous’ shooter was holding an AR 15-style rifle with a laser optic when he burst into the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley at 7:15pm local time.
Police then received calls about a shooting at a second location, Schemengees Bar and Grille, which was around four miles away. A spokesperson for the bar said: ‘My heart is crushed. I am at a loss for words.’
They said that their world was ‘turned upside down for no good reason’, adding: How can we make any sense of this? Sending out prayers to everyone.’
Concerned friends and family members of possible victims are desperately hunting for information as they claim police won’t tell them who the casualties are as it is an ongoing investigation.
Police were knocking on doors of homes in the local area, while helicopters remained in the area Wednesday night.
Authorities have opened a reunification center at Auburn Middle School. Armed police were searching anyone coming onto the grounds.
Dozens of anxious relatives were hurried inside by officers, and AlertContent.com saw one woman sobbing behind the wheel of her car.
At least a dozen local officers surrounded the school, with volunteers taking emotional family members inside.
Police officers surround an armored law enforcement vehicle parked on the parking lot of the Lisbon High School gymnasium