The suspect in the Lewiston shooting has been confirmed dead by the Maine Governor.
A deputy in the local area has strongly criticized the Maine State Police for their handling of the recent mass shootings in Lewiston. It was revealed that there were multiple significant warning signs about the suspect, Robert Card, that were overlooked in the months leading up to the tragic events.
A now-removed Facebook post, which was viewed by Bangor Daily News prior to its deletion, Sgt Jon Guay from Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office alleged that both local and federal organizations were not receiving communication during the manhunt, as state troopers were leading the investigation.
Officials reported on Monday that the family of Card had expressed concerns about his mental well-being and access to firearms to the sheriff’s office earlier this year. Additionally, evidence has been found of Card discussing guns in a forceful manner with former coworkers and acquaintances.
According to CNN, the Maine National Guard requested that local law enforcement investigate a US Army reservist in September due to fears that he may engage in a mass shooting.
On Sunday evening, a large number of people from Lewiston came together to hold a vigil in remembrance of the lives lost.
VIEW: The owner of a gun shop remembers his encounter with Robert Card when he attempted to purchase a suppressor.
A new warning sign was discovered: the suspected shooter had made aggressive comments about guns.
NBC News interviewed former colleagues of Card from the Maine Recycling Corporation, uncovering another overlooked red flag prior to the deadliest shooting of the year.
Based on what the former co-worker stated, Card’s actions became increasingly unpredictable and he made aggressive comments about firearms before he quit his job. Another co-worker mentioned that a supervisor was informed of allegations that Card had made threats of gun violence in the workplace, but it seemed like the issue was ignored.
According to a coworker, problems arose about a year after Card was hired at the recycling plant. The source mentioned that Card’s behavior completely shifted.
The coworker stated that he suddenly became angry without reason. They had been having a good day, but then he accused her of touching him. He also accused her of sexually harassing him and calling him a pedophile.
According to a colleague, Card frequently mentioned guns and expressed his interest in buying a silencer. However, he was not able to follow through with this purchase. The colleague also stated that they had a feeling that Card would eventually use a gun to harm someone, as he often talked about them in a forceful and concerning manner. The situation was unsettling.
Responses to the mass shooting soon after it occurred.
Politicians and gun safety advocacy groups, as well as Maine native and author Stephen King, strongly denounced the attacks.
President Joe Biden has issued a directive for all US flags to be lowered to half-mast. In a statement shared online, he expressed his sorrow for the latest mass shooting and offered prayers for the victims, those currently receiving medical care, and the affected families, survivors, and community members in Maine.
Vice President Kamala Harris recently released a statement advocating for stricter gun safety legislation. She emphasized that she and President Biden are taking action and will use the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to save lives. Harris stressed the urgency of the situation, stating that there is no time or lives to be wasted.
The White House has requested that recently-elected House speaker Mike Johnson collaborate on gun laws following the event. During her afternoon briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated, “The House now has a new speaker who has expressed readiness to cooperate and reach a mutual agreement.”
Previously, Mr Johnson, who was chosen on Wednesday, received backlash for only offering “prayers” in response to the mass shooting, which he referred to as a “terrible tragedy”.
“This is a dark time in America, we have a lot of problems and we’re really, really hopeful and prayerful. Prayer is appropriate in a time like this, that the evil can end and this senseless violence can stop,” he said. “And so that’s that’s the statement this morning on behalf of the entire House of Representatives. Everyone wants this to end and I’ll leave it there.”
Former president and current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, released a brief statement on the social media platform Truth Social addressing the recent tragedy in Maine. He expressed his condolences for the 22 lives lost and lamented the ongoing cycle of tragedy in the United States.
Senator Susan Collins stated at a press conference on Thursday evening that the recent tragedy, resulting in the loss of 18 lives and numerous injuries, is the most severe mass shooting ever witnessed in the state of Maine and something that was unimaginable.
What have Robert Cardona’s relatives said?
In January, Card’s son noticed that his father was making claims about people talking about him while they were out in public.
According to a report from May, his former spouse expressed concern about their son spending time with Robert due to potential mental health issues.
Karen Card, his sister-in-law, stated that he had recently been experiencing auditory hallucinations. She also mentioned that in the previous year, he had a severe mental health episode and has since been struggling.
Three of Card’s family members were among the initial individuals to contact authorities and positively identify Card based on images of him brandishing a weapon.
In case you missed it: The details we have on the shooter’s demise.
The Maine State Police announced on Friday evening that they located the body of the shooter in a box trailer in the overflow lot of Maine Recycling Corporation, concluding a 48-hour-long search.
The recycling plant owner contacted the police and requested them to inspect the 55 to 60 trailers on the premises. The police had previously searched the area twice, but were prompted to do so again after receiving the call from the owner, who was identified as the former employer of the shooter.
It is believed that the perpetrator died by suicide.
“He is dead,” Maine Governor Janet Mills said at a news conference, as she thanked the officers involved in the manhunt.
Ms Mills stated: “I, like many others, feel relieved that Robert Card is no longer a danger to anyone. It is now time to focus on healing.”
Scenes of Lewiston healing after the atrocity
Kris Brown, the president of Brady United Against Gun Violence, released a statement following the shooting incident.
“No American should leave their home and fear becoming the victim of a mass shooting, but tonight, Maine families are grieving from this untold loss of life. Americans – enjoying time with friends, families and loved ones – gunned down in the most cruel and sadistic way. Worse, this shooting is not unique, as the U.S. has experienced over 500 mass shootings this year. “The slaughtering of 18 people in a matter of minutes while bowling or sharing a beer with friends is exactly why assault weapons should be banned from our communities. These weapons of war are designed for one purpose – to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time, which is why they’re the preferred weapon of mass murderers. “Instead of facing this issue head-on, our elected officials are going in the wrong direction at the time Americans need them most. Relying on weak gun industry-written ‘yellow-flag’ laws will allow tragedies to continue to plague every community in our country.”
The unsuccessful attempt to check on the well-being and the notification, uncovered.
The letter stated that it would be better to be cautious when it comes to Card, as he is skilled with a gun. If he decides to follow through on his threats towards the soldier, he is capable of doing so.
On September 15th, the sheriff’s officer attempted to locate Card but was unsuccessful. However, they did find a jet ski and motorcycle registered to Card at his presumed residence. As a precaution, the officer issued a file 6 alert to other agencies. According to Sheriff Merry, the alert contained a warning that Mr. Card was armed and dangerous and provided details of his behavior. The alert advised officers to exercise extreme caution.
The officer communicated with Ryan Card, the suspect’s brother, on 17 September and verified that Card had access to Ryan’s weapons. According to the report, these firearms were stored in a gun safe.
Ryan Card reportedly informed the authorities that he was collaborating with his father to relocate the firearms, and he promised to prevent his brother from possessing any additional weapons.
Sheriff Merry stated that the File 6 alert was rescinded on October 18th.
Fundraising campaigns on GoFundMe have been created to commemorate the victims.
Remembering Joshua Seal
At the time of the shooting, Joshua Seal, a 36-year-old individual, was a renowned interpreter for American Sign Language (ASL). He was organizing a gathering for the deaf community at Schemengees Bar & Grille.
Seal was the Director of Interpreting Services for the Pine Tree Society – an organisation which “provides Maine children and adults with disabilities the opportunities and the means to create better lives for themselves and their families.”
Elizabeth, his wife, announced his passing on Facebook and praised him as the “best father” to their four children.
Elizabeth wrote that he was always available to support and be present for his family, whether it was by watching over them or physically helping them. He enjoyed being with them, whether it was during trips, attending their events, or spending time outdoors. He was not just a great dad, but also a fantastic husband, her closest companion, and her perfect match.
Michele, the mother of Seal, described her son as “the most altruistic individual you would ever encounter.”
His wife and four children, ages 12, nine, seven, and three, survive him.