Maine shootings: Suspect Robert Card found dead near Androscoggin River after 18 people killed

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Robert Card was wanted in connection with the Maine shootings.

The man wanted for the mass shooting at a bowling alley and bar that killed 18 people and wounded 13 others in Maine has been found dead.

Robert Card, who was wanted in connection with the shootings at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, was found dead in Lisbon Falls, Maine, Governor Janet Mills said at a news conference on Friday. Commissioner of Maine department of public safety Mike Sauschuck said Card was found at 7.45pm near the Androscoggin River of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police found Card’s body at a recycling facility where he recently worked, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

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Card, 40, of Bowdoin, Maine, had been sought since the Wednesday night shootings and murder warrants were issued against him. Ms Mills said: “Like many people I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone."

Law enforcement officials conducted a manhunt following the mass shooting in Maine. (Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Law enforcement officials conducted a manhunt following the mass shooting in Maine. (Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials conducted a manhunt following the mass shooting in Maine. (Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

April Stevens, a Lewiston resident who knew one of the victims, said she was relieved to learn that the “monster and coward” who inflicted so much pain was no longer a danger. “I’m relieved but not happy,” she said. “There was too much death. Too many people were hurt. Relieved, yes, happy, no.”

Ms Mills said she had called US President Joe Biden to alert him that Card was dead.

In a statement, the President said: “Tonight we’re grateful that Lewiston and surrounding communities are safe after spending excruciating days hiding in their homes. Americans should not have to live like this”.

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A bulletin sent to police across the country shortly after the attack said the US Army reservist had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during summer after “hearing voices and threats to shoot up” a military base. A US official said Card was training with the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in West Point, New York, when commanders became concerned about him. Authorities had scoured the woods and hundreds of acres of family-owned property, sent dive teams with sonar to the bottom of a river and scrutinised a possible suicide note on Friday in the second day of their intensive search for Card.

Authorities lifted their shelter in place order for people living in the area on Friday evening, nearly 48 hours after the shootings. The names and pictures of the 16 men and two women who died were released as Mr Sauschuck asked for a moment of silence at a news conference. Their ages ranged from 14 to 76. Law enforcement officials had said they had not seen Card since his vehicle was left at a boat ramp on Wednesday, shortly after the shootings.

Authorities say Card, who had firearms training, opened fire at the bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine’s second-largest city.