Maine Offers Help for Businesses, People Affected by Shootings
As the grieving continues for the 18 people who lost their lives Wednesday, more questions are being asked about specifics regarding the investigation, and how Robert Card got a gun in the first place.
Governor Janet Mills, who held a press briefing Monday about financial help the state will offer businesses, veterans, first responders and healthcare workers, may not be ready to answer those questions as she abruptly ended the briefing when the questions became too much. She deferred to State Police when asked about the case in an echoey hall at the Maine State House that made questions difficult to hear.
"We are continuing to investigate who knew what, when, and we want to get the best answer to how can we prevent something like this from happening again. That includes why did it happen in the first place," Mills said before ending the briefing and walking away.
Mills would not answer specific questions about the investigation, nor reports that Card tried to buy a silencer at an Auburn gun shop but was declined when he admitted on a form that he spent time in a mental institution.
The Associated Press reported that police around the state were issued an alert after he made threats against fellow soldiers at the Guard reserve base in Saco where he was stationed. After visiting his home, the alert was canceled.
In a statement, Mills said she wants to work with legislative leaders, public safety officials, members of the community, and others to have a "thoughtful and comprehensive discussion" about what needs to change to prevent a future incident.
Mills announced steps that will make assistance available to a wide range of residents affected by the shooting.
- Launching “Healing Together” – an online clearinghouse of information for Maine people looking for ways to help Lewiston victims and their families, as well as mental health supports for anyone affected by last week’s violence.
- Partnering with the Red Cross, the Office of the Attorney General, and the FBI to establish a Family Assistance Center at 65 Central Avenue in Lewiston, where victims and their families can access comprehensive services like mental health counseling, financial aid, spiritual care, and victim advocacy services.
- Opening a Mental Health Assistance Center at the Ramada Inn at 490 Pleasant Street in Lewiston to provide mental health services to the broader community.
- Creating a dedicated webpage of behavioral health resources for Maine people, including how to talk to children about gun violence, available online at maine.gov/dhhs.
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Gallery Credit: Lizzy Snyder