A US Army reservist, Robert Card, accused of committing a mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, has been found dead near the Androscoggin River.
The shooting left 18 people dead and 13 others injured in a bowling alley and a restaurant earlier in the week. The discovery of Card’s body comes after a two-day manhunt, with authorities suspecting a self-inflicted gunshot as the cause of death.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck informed the public that Card’s body was found around 7:45 p.m. Friday in the Lisbon Falls area, approximately 10 miles from the crime scene. The motive behind the shooting remains unknown, and authorities plan to release more information on Saturday morning.
Governor Janet Mills expressed relief at the news of Card’s death, stating, “Now is a time to heal.” The city of Lewiston and the state of Maine begin a challenging journey toward recovery after enduring a period of simultaneous grief and anxiety.
The search for Card involved hundreds of officers scouring southern Maine by land, water, and air. Shelter-in-place orders were in effect for Androscoggin and northern Sagadahoc counties until Friday afternoon, causing closures of schools, businesses, and facilities.
One factor prompting an expanded search to waterways was the discovery of a note from Card, indicating that he did not expect to be alive when the note was found. The note provided information about the location of items and instructions for disposal.
The shooting on Wednesday evening marked the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre last year.
In a troubling development, it was revealed that the gun believed to be used by Card in the massacre was legally purchased just days before he underwent a psychiatric evaluation in July. Law enforcement sources disclosed that Card was hospitalized and ordered to undergo evaluation after behaving belligerently and possibly intoxicated at Camp Smith in Cortlandt, New York, where he served in the military.
The army issued a “Command Referral” for Card to seek treatment after he reported “hearing voices” and having thoughts of “hurting other soldiers.” This referral came just 10 days after Card legally purchased a high-powered rifle and a Beretta 92-F 9mm semi-automatic pistol in Maine.
The victims of Wednesday’s shooting ranged from 14 to 76 years old, with families notified of their tragic losses. The authorities have identified the deceased as Tricia Asselin, William Frank Brackett, Peyton Brewer-Ross, Thomas “Tommy” Conrad, Michael Deslauriers II, Jason Walker, Keith Macneir, Bryan MacFarlane, Ronald “Ron” Morin Arthur “Artie” Strout, Joseph “Joey” Walker, Joshua Seal, Maxx Hathaway, Robert “Bob” Violette, Lucille Violette, Stephen “Steve” Vozzella, William “Bill” Young and his son Aaron Young.
As the community grapples with the aftermath of this devastating incident, investigations continue, with authorities working to understand the motive behind the heinous act and ensuring that justice is served for the victims and their families.
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