At least 22 dead in mass shootings in Maine; police launch hunt for gunman

A person of interest has now been identified as Robert Card; he was seen carrying the semi-automatic style weapon inside the bowling alley


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Reuters / Lewiston Maine Police Department
Reuters / Lewiston Maine Police Department

Published: Thu 26 Oct 2023, 6:56 AM

Last updated: Thu 26 Oct 2023, 10:25 AM

At least 22 people were killed and "many, many more" were injured in mass shootings at a bar and a bowling alley in the town of Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday evening, local officials reported. The police said the gunman was still at large.

Hundreds of police fanned out across the state hunting for the man, who has been identified as Robert R. Card, 40 years old.

Earlier, the authorities posted on Facebook photographs of a bearded man in a brown hoodie and jeans at one of the crime scenes, holding what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle in the firing position.

Photo of the armed suspect in a shooting in Lewiston, Maine. Photo: AFP
Photo of the armed suspect in a shooting in Lewiston, Maine. Photo: AFP

"We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case to locate Mr. Card, who is a person of interest," Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told a news conference.

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Police found a white SUV they believe Card drove to the town of Lisbon, about 7 miles (11km) to the southeast, and Sauschuck said people were asked to remain indoors in both Lewiston and Lisbon.

"We are encouraging all businesses to lock down and or close while we investigate. The suspect is still at large," the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department wrote on Facebook.

What happened

The White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the matter.

And Maine Governor Janet Mills said she was "aware of and have been briefed on the active shooter situation in Lewiston."

CNN reported that at least 50 to 60 people were injured in the incidents, citing multiple law enforcement sources, but said it was unclear how many of the injuries were the result of gunfire.

Police and rescuers reportedly arrived at the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley at approximately 7.15pm local time in response to an active shooter, and thereafter received reports of another shooting at the Schemengees Bar & Grille, according to the Sun Journal local newspaper.

At 8.15pm, another shooting was reported at a local Walmart distribution center, it said.

Maine Congressman Jared Golden wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter that "like all Mainers, I'm horrified by the events in Lewison tonight. This is my hometown."

"Right now, all of us are looking to local law enforcement as they gain control of the situation and gather information. Our hearts break for those who are affected," he said.

Gun violence is alarmingly common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on their spread are always met with stiff resistance.

The United States has recorded over 500 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-governmental organization that defines a mass shooting as four or more people wounded or killed.

Efforts to tighten gun controls have for years run up against opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms.

The political paralysis endures despite widespread outrage over recurring shootings.

Lewiston is the second most populous city in Maine located some 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of the largest city, Portland.


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