Cops in Maine have rushed to the scene of a man in camo gear said to be dodging a police helicopter as the hunt for shooting suspect Robert Card escalated.
The man was spotted on Ridge Road in Monmouth on Thursday morning, according to police scanner audio reviewed by AlertContent.com. Further information on whether the man is Card or is linked to the massacre has not been confirmed.
The sighting came as Card was charged with eight counts of murder for the shootings at the the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar and Grille in Lewiston.
Maine Police Colonel William Ross said only eight of the 18 victims have been identified as of Thursday at 11am EST, hence the number of charges against Card.
Ross added that seven of the gunshot victims were found at the kids’ bowling alley: one female and six males. Another eight victims were found at the bar: seven males inside and one outside.
Eight victims are hospitalized at Central Maine Medical Center – five are stable and three in critical condition. Three patients died at the hospital and two were discharged, according to Dr. John Alexander.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers are searching for previously sectioned Army reserve firearms instructor Card, 40 – a petroleum supply specialist with no military deployments. Card had been taken by police for an evaluation after military officials became concerned that he was acting erratically in mid-July, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
Police in Lewiston, Maine, are hunting for a gunman who killed at 18 people
Portland Police and an armored car at a search area in Monmouth, Maine
A member of law enforcement crosses a road in Lisbon Falls on Thursday
Lewiston, a small city of about 38,000, is on lockdown as police hunt for Card who was placed on a psychiatric hold this summer with mental health issues. He previously reported hearing voices and threatened to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.
Card, described as ‘armed and dangerous’ and ‘highly-skilled,’ has ties to Massachusetts, and police are stationed at the border between the two states. Police said he should not be approached in any circumstances.
In audio from the Auburn and Lewiston Fire and EMS departments, a dispatcher is heard saying Card crossed into Massachusetts about an hour after the shooting on Wednesday night.
Boston police responded to the report and said: ‘It originated in Oxford, ME. Passed on in an abundance of caution and we are gathering more info but as of right now unsubstantiated.’
Lewiston police chief David St Pierre asked the public to be mindful of their own safety and patience as they go through ‘such a large-scale investigation.’
Residents of both Lewiston and nearby Lisbon and Bowdoin have been advised not to go outside as the gunman remains at large. Public schools have closed in Lewiston, Bowdoin and Portland, the state’s biggest city, over 30 miles from where the shooting happened.
Law enforcement gather outside Schemengee’s Bar and Grille,. Lewiston, a small city of about 38,000, is on lockdown as police hunt for Card
Maine Police Colonel William Ross said only eight of the 18 victims have been identified as of Thursday at 11am
Law enforcement officers gather outside Lewiston High School on Thursday
Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army reservist and firearms instructor, has been named as the suspect in the murder of 22 people in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday
A body is removed from inside Schemengees Bar and Grille
Meanwhile All Bureau of Motor Vehicle locations across Maine are being closed Thursday, the secretary of state’s office has announced. Two of the state’s main banks, Camden National Bank and Bangor Savings Bank announced several branches would be closed and others would only offer drive-up services.
Card is a skilled marksman and outdoorsman who was one of the best shooters in his Army Reserve unit, a former colleague told CNN. Another former colleague said Card was a ‘nice guy’ who ‘never had an issue with anybody.’
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. The death toll, which could yet rise, is the largest from a mass shooting this year. Additionally, the shooting almost matches Maine’s entire 2022 homicide numbers.
‘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.
The first shooting victim has been identified as retired mechanic Bob Violette, 76, who was a children’s bowling coach. He spent his time coaching kids at bowling, and he was remembered as someone who ‘passed away doing what he loved.’
Tricia Asselin, 53, has also been identified as one of the fatal victims of the shooting at the bowling alley, where she worked part-time.
Justin Karcher, 23, has been named as one of the injured victims. He who is on a ventilator, his mother Jessica told the Washington Post, adding the young man saw his father shot dead at a Walmart parking lot in 2019.
Eight victims were found at the Schemengee’s Bar and Grille, pictured above
Seven of the victims were found at the bowling alley Sparetime Recreation, pictured above
Residents of both Lewiston and nearby Lisbon and Bowdoin have been advised not to go outside on Thursday morning as the gunman remains at large
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 lock 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.
Officers have confirmed that Card’s vehicle – a 2013 white Subaru – was found near the boat dock in Lisbon, about seven miles southeast of Lewiston, but the suspect was not inside.
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.
Officers were also seen outside Card’s home in nearby Bowdoin on Thursday morning, with swathes of roads across the state being shut down in a bid to apprehend the suspect.
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.
Retired mechanic Bob Violette, 76, was one of the victims in the massacre, according to his daughter-in-law Cassandra
Card’s sister-in-law Katie Card, told The Daily Beast he had previously claimed he was hearing voices ‘bashing him’ at the bowling alley and the bar. She added the family has been messaging Card and urging him to turn himself in.
She said: ‘He is quiet but the most loving, hardworking, and kind person that I know. But in the past year, he had an acute episode of mental health, and it’s been a struggle.’
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.
Police then received calls about a shooting at a second location, Schemengees Bar and Grille, around four miles away. A spokesperson for the bar said: ‘My heart is crushed. I am at a loss for words.’
They said their world was ‘turned upside down for no good reason’, adding: How can we make any sense of this? Sending out prayers to everyone.’
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 10-year-old daughter Zoe 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.
A heavy police presence is outside the Central Maine Medical Center on Thursday morning, with police standing at every entrance with high-powered rifles
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.’
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.
President Joe Biden has ordered flags be lowered to half-staff as ‘a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on October 25, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine.’
Biden said: ‘Once again, our nation is in mourning. Today, Jill and I are praying for the Americans who’ve lost their lives, for those still in critical care, and for the families, survivors, and community members enduring shock and grief.’
A distraught Maine councilor has said he knows his son is among the dead – though authorities are yet to confirm.
Leroy Walker, whose son managed Schemengees, said he is convinced his son is dead.
‘If you had my gut right now, I feel like I’m squashed with a vice,’ the Auburn councilor told NBC. ‘My neck in the back of my head feels like there’s a vice squashing it the other way.’