A mass capturing in Lewiston, Maine, at a bar and bowling alley on Wednesday claimed the lives of at the very least 22 folks, left dozens wounded, and prompted a citywide lockdown as regulation enforcement pursued an individual of curiosity.
A police intelligence bulletin recognized Robert Card, who was skilled as a firearms teacher at a U.S. Military Reserve coaching facility in Maine, because the particular person of curiosity.
The doc, reviewed by The Related Press and circulated to regulation enforcement officers, says Card had been dedicated to a psychological well being facility for 2 weeks in the summertime of 2023. It didn’t present particular particulars about his remedy or situation.
The doc additionally stated Card had reported listening to voices and had threatened to hold out a capturing on the army coaching base in Saco, Maine. A phone quantity listed for Card in public data was not in service.
Lewiston Police stated in an earlier Fb put up that they had been coping with an energetic shooter incident at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) away. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Workplace launched two images of the suspect on its Fb web page that confirmed a shooter strolling into an institution with a weapon raised to their shoulder. Authorities stated the capturing began simply earlier than 7 p.m.
Two regulation enforcement officers instructed The Related Press that at the very least 22 folks had been killed and the toll was anticipated to rise. Nevertheless, Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Division of Public Security, declined to supply a selected estimate at a information convention, calling it a “fluid state of affairs.”
The 2 regulation enforcement officers stated dozens of individuals had additionally been wounded. The officers weren’t licensed to publicly talk about particulars of the continuing investigation and spoke to AP on situation of anonymity.
On its web site, Central Maine Medical Heart stated employees had been “reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter occasion” and had been coordinating with space hospitals to soak up sufferers. The hospital was locked down and police, some armed with rifles, stood by the entrances.
In the meantime, hospitals as far-off as Portland, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the south, had been on alert to probably obtain victims.
Authorities ordered residents and enterprise homeowners to remain inside and off the streets. The shelter-in-place order was prolonged Wednesday evening from Lewiston to Lisbon, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) away, after a “automobile of curiosity” was discovered there, authorities stated.
Melinda Small, the proprietor of Legends Sports activities Bar and Grill, stated her employees instantly locked their doorways and moved all 25 clients and staff away from the doorways after a buyer reported listening to concerning the capturing on the bowling alley lower than a quarter-mile away round 7 p.m. Quickly, the police flooded the roadway, and a police officer finally escorted everybody out of the constructing 4 at a time. Everybody within the bar is protected.
“I’m actually in a state of shock. I’m blessed that my workforce responded rapidly and everyone seems to be protected,” Small instructed The Related Press. “However the identical time, my coronary heart is damaged for this space and for what everyone seems to be coping with. I simply really feel numb.”
The alert for Lewiston was made shortly after 8 p.m. because the sheriff’s workplace reported that regulation enforcement companies had been investigating “two energetic shooter occasions.” Officers issued an replace round 10 p.m. on their search.
“Keep away from the realm till authorities give the all-clear,” the assertion stated. “Search various routes to avoid the realm and any disruptions. If already working within the affected area, adhere to all directions issued by native officers, together with the shelter-in-place order.”
“We’re encouraging all companies to lock down and or shut whereas we examine,” the sheriff’s workplace reported.
A spokesperson for Maine Division of Public Security urged residents to remain of their houses with their doorways locked.
“Regulation enforcement is presently investigating at two areas proper now,” Shannon Moss stated. “Once more please keep off the streets and permit regulation enforcement to diffuse the state of affairs.”
Gov. Janet Mills launched an announcement echoing these directions. She stated she had been briefed on the state of affairs and can stay in shut contact with public security officers.
President Joe Biden had spoken by cellphone to Mills and the state’s Senate and Home members, providing “full federal help within the wake of this horrific assault,” a White Home assertion stated.
Native colleges will probably be closed Thursday and other people ought to shelter in place or search security, Superintendent Jake Langlais stated, including: “Keep near your family members. Embrace them.”
Wednesday’s demise toll was staggering for a state that in 2022 had 29 homicides your complete yr.
Lewiston emerged as a significant heart for African immigration into Maine. The Somali inhabitants, which numbers within the 1000’s, has modified the demographics of the as soon as overwhelmingly white mill metropolis into probably the most various in northern New England.
Maine Sen. Angus King, an unbiased, stated he was “deeply unhappy for the town of Lewiston and all these anxious about their household, buddies and neighbors” and was monitoring the state of affairs. King’s workplace stated the senator could be headed instantly dwelling to Maine on the primary flight potential.