Robert Card, the suspect in the Maine mass shooting that left 18 dead and over a dozen injured in Lewiston on Wednesday, October 25th, was found dead on Friday, October 27th.
Card, 40, was found near a river about 10 miles from the devastated Lewiston community. The suspect was discovered with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as confirmed by Michael Sauschuck, Maine Public Safety Commissioner, during a Saturday press briefing.
The discovery came after an intense manhunt that lasted nearly two days, engulfing residents in fear and uncertainty. Card’s lifeless body was located in a box trailer at the Maine Recycling Corporation’s parking lot in Lisbon.
It was revealed that Card had been recently let go from his job at the recycling center. “He was found inside one of those boxes that was unlocked from the outside,” Sauschuck stated.
Two firearms were found with him, along with clothing that matched what was seen in surveillance footage from the night of the shooting.
Governor Janet Mills expressed her relief, stating, “I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone.” However, she acknowledged that his death might not provide solace to many and emphasized the community’s need to embark on a “long and difficult road to healing.”
The extensive manhunt commenced Wednesday night following gunfire that killed 18 people at Just-in-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston. The victims, aged 14 to 76, included a young boy and participants in a cornhole tournament for the deaf. The shooting also left 13 others injured.
Tammy Asselin, who was separated from her 10-year-old daughter during the shooting at Just-in-Time Recreation’s bowling alley, stated, “I know it does give my daughter some peace to know that he has been caught, because that was a fear of hers – that he’s still out there.”
The incident has left many unanswered questions, especially for those directly impacted. Elizabeth Seal, wife of victim Joshua Seal, told CNN, “I wanted to ask questions that will not be answered. Why did you do this? What was the motive?”
President Joe Biden, in a statement, expressed gratitude for the safety of Maine residents and urged Congress to address gun violence. Biden said, “Americans should not have to live like this.”
He continued, “I once again call on Republicans in Congress to fulfill their obligation to keep the American people safe. Until that day comes, I will continue to do everything in my power to end this gun violence epidemic. The Lewiston community – and all Americans – deserve nothing less.”
While the exact time of Card’s death remains unclear, Sauschuck mentioned that a note left behind by Card indicated he might not have planned to be around for long. Law enforcement also indicated that Card had purchased the firearm used in the shootings just days before an “erratic” episode that led to a psychiatric evaluation.
The mass shooting, the largest in the United States this year and likely the largest in Maine’s history, marks the 36th mass killing in the U.S. this year.