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Maine shooting: 20 feared dead as police hunt for suspect Robert Card | US News


At least 20 people are feared to have been killed after a shooting in the US state of Maine, with the suspect – a firearms instructor – still at large.

Authorities in Lewiston are investigating “two active shooter events” and have warned people to stay inside, away from windows, with doors locked.

Follow live: Manhunt in Maine

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Moments after mass shooting in Maine

Police have released images of a man with a military-style assault rifle in a bowling alley and say they are looking for “armed and dangerous” Robert Card.

The 40-year-old, with 20 years military service, worked as an army firearms instructor and recently spent time at a mental health facility after hearing voices, according to an internal police notice.

Police officers, many armed with rifles, have taken up positions across the city, and roads have been shut as the manhunt continues.

Androscoggin County sheriff's Office
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Police have released images of the suspect. Pic: Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office

Police are searching for 40-year-old Robert Card
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The suspect is 40-year-old Robert Card. Pic: Lewiston Police Department

According to law enforcement sources, between 15 to 20 people are believed to have been killed.

NBC News earlier reported 22 fatalities, citing a Lewiston police source.

As many as 50 people are also said to have been injured, not all of whom were shot. Some reportedly had injuries from a stampede.

Pic: Lewiston Maine Police Department
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Pic: Lewiston Police Department

Pic: Lewiston Maine Police Department
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Pic: Lewiston Police Department

Police say the shootings happened at about 7pm on Wednesday at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley – which are situated about four miles apart.

They also posted a photo of a white Subaru they want to find out more details about, which was later found in the nearby town of Lisbon where residents have also been told to stay at home.

This photo, released by police, shows a vehicle police are seeking information on in connection to the shooting: Pic: Lewiston Maine Police Department via AP
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This photo, released by police, shows a vehicle officers are seeking information on in connection to the shooting: Pic: Lewiston Maine Police Department via AP

One witness, who identified himself only as Brandon, was at the bowling alley and described how the gunman appeared “out of nowhere” and was “15 feet behind me” when he heard “a loud pop” and the first of several gunshots.

“As soon as I turned and saw it was not a balloon and he was holding a weapon, I just booked it down the lane,” he said.

“I slid basically into where the pins are and climbed up into the machine, and was on top of the machines for about 10 minutes before the cops got there.”

Families have gathered at Auburn Middle School, in Auburn, Maine, for information about their loved ones. Pic: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via AP
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Families have gathered in the neighbouring city of Auburn, Maine, to be reunited with their loved ones. Pic: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via AP

He was among survivors who were driven to the neighbouring city of Auburn to be reunited with family and friends.

“I was putting on my bowling shoes when it started. I’ve been barefoot for five hours,” he added.

Sky’s US correspondent Martha Kelner said the owner of the bowling alley says it was packed at the time with at least 100 people, including around 20 children.

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‘My son was at the bar and we’ve heard nothing’

Central Maine Medical Center referred to a “mass casualty, mass shooter event” but did not give numbers.

Off-duty staff, doctors and nurses have been asked to come in to work to deal with the number of casualties.

Hospitals as far away as Portland, about 35 miles to the south, have been placed on alert to potentially receive victims.

Maine’s public health commissioner, Mike Sauschuck, confirmed multiple casualties but also said he didn’t have a precise figure.

He said “hundreds” of police are looking for “person of interest” Robert Card.

Read more: What we know about Maine shooting suspect

Stretchers are lined up outside Central Maine Medical Center. Pic: Derek Davis/Portland Press/via AP
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Stretchers are lined up outside Central Maine Medical Center. Pic: Derek Davis/Portland Press/via AP

Kelner said information released by officials suggested the gunman was a member of the US Army Reserve suffering from mental health issues, who had threatened to carry out a shooting at a training facility in Saco, Maine, which he was assigned to.

“Questions will come down the road about just why and how he was able to maintain ownership of such a powerful weapon,” she said.

Police respond to an active shooter situation in Lewiston, Maine. Pic: AP
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Police are searching the city of Lewiston and surrounding areas of Maine state for the gunman. Pic: AP

President Joe Biden has been briefed and spoke to the state’s governor to offer full federal support, the White House said.

Governor Janet Mills echoed police instructions for residents to stay off the streets and businesses to lockdown or close until authorities give the all-clear.

Superintendent Jake Langlais said schools would be shut on Thursday, adding: “Stay close to your loved ones. Embrace them.”

Map of US shooting in Maine on 25 October 2023 at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley - which are situated about four miles apart.
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The shootings took place at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley – situated about four miles apart in Lewiston, Maine

A map showing the city of Lewiston in the US State of Maine

The mayor of Auburn – located just across the Androscoggin River – told reporters witnesses “of all ages” including teenagers are being interviewed at an undisclosed safe location.

Jason Levesque added families gathering at a school in the city are being told whether their loved ones, who had been at the bar and bowling alley, are among the casualties.

“There’s fear, there’s panic,” he said, adding: “Something like this doesn’t just get solved overnight and nobody can expect it to. But we’ve got a really strong community. We’ve overcome a lot and we’ll overcome this.”

Who is ‘person of interest’ Robert Card?

A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said 40-year-old Card is a trained firearms instructor and was believed to be in the Army Reserve.

It added that law enforcement said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, Maine”.

The bulletin said Card was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this summer and then released.

Sky News has not been able to independently verify the bulletin’s statements about Card’s history.

Lewiston is a city of about 35,000 people in the far northeast of the US.

Maine has one of the lowest per capita murder rates in America, with state police recording only 29 homicides in 2022.

Before Wednesday’s incident, the deadliest US mass shooting of 2023 was in Monterey Park, California, where 11 people were murdered during a Chinese New Year event.

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