Lewiston, Maine, Gunman Took His Own Life, Shooting Motive Unknown
🔴 The owner of Maine Recycling Corporation directed police to an overflow lot.
🔴 Two recovery centers are now open Saturday.
🔴 At least two community vigils are planned during the weekend.
Robert Card took his own life after he gunned down dozens of people at a Lewiston bowling alley and billiards hall Wednesday night.
The body of the gunman was found around 7:45 p.m. with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in an unlocked box trailer in the overflow parking lot at the Maine Recycling Corporation in Lisbon, according to Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.
Sauschuck said there is no evidence yet that the shooting was premeditated, nor does anything specifically indicate why Robert Card went to the Just-in-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille Wednesday night.
The recycling center was cleared twice by police search teams. The owner of the center told investigators that Card knows the property well, and directed them to the overflow lot as a possible hiding spot where over 50 trailers are stored. A Maine State Police tactical team found Card's body.
Two firearms were found with Card, who was still wearing the sweatshirt he was wearing in initial photos released by police. The ATF said that all the weapons were legally purchased by Card.
The commissioner did not say how long the body was in the trailer.
The scene at the recycling center will be processed for the rest of the day, while the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grille will be processed through the weekend.
Note From Card Found
Sauschuck said a note found at his Bowdoin home was addressed to a "loved one" and included passwords to Card's cell phone and bank accounts. The note was not read, but had the "tone and tenor" of a suicide note, according to Sauschuck.
A "long gun" style firearm was found inside Card's Outback, but he did not known the specific type of weapon it was.
Sauschuck said 821 tips and leads were received about the shooting, 197 digitally uploaded to a digital tip line. The tips resulted in 12 search warrants being executed.
Card's family has been "incredibly cooperative" with the investigation, and made the first three calls received by Lewiston Police after pictures of the gunman were posted, according to Sauschuck. They should be acknowledged for their cooperation, he said.
There is a "mental health component" to the shooting, but Sauschuck said Card was not forcibly committed to a facility for treatment.
“The individual felt people were talking about him,” Sauschuck said. “It may even appear there are some voices in play here.”
FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen offered condolences to the families of the shooting victims. Cohen said the agency sent more than 350 special agents, analysts, task force officers, and support personnel to assist in this investigation.
"Even though the suspect was found deceased last night, our work does not stop. There are many questions that need to be answered, there is a lot of evidence to be processed, and, most importantly, the victims and their families deserve special care and consideration," Cohen said in a statement.
The Healing Process Begins
As the community begins the healing process together, there are a few bumps in the road.
Family members told the Sun Journal they are frustrated they cannot plan funerals because officials have not yet told them where the bodies of their loved ones are.
A Family Assistance Center (FAC) will open at the Lewiston Amory located at 65 Central Avenue in Lewiston, which will act as one central space for victims and their support persons to gather. It will also be open for those individuals who were present at the shooting sites but not physically injured.
A separate site providing mental health assistance at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston, Maine, has been created for the larger community.
A community vigil scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Franco Center in Lewiston has been moved to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Ash Street. It will to allow people to grieve together and pay their respects to those impacted by the shooting. There will be prayers from multiple faith leaders and music. There will be prayers from multiple faith leaders and music, with therapy dogs in attendance.
If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis, call the Maine Crisis Line at 888-568-1112, New Hampshire Rapid Response at 833-710-6477 and NH988.com, the Portsmouth Regional Hospital crisis-suicide hotline at 603-433-5370 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988.
Learn About the Victims of the Lewiston, Maine Shooting
Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander
Shooting in Lewiston 10/25/23
Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander