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Maine hunt for Lewiston mass shooter goes to another night

Maine hunt for Lewiston mass shooter goes to another night

Maine hunt for Lewiston mass shooter goes to another night

Maine hunt for Lewiston mass shooter goes to another night

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  • Maine hunt for Lewiston mass shooter goes to another night.
  • Officials strongly urged residents to stay indoors for their safety.
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  • Several search warrants were executed in the neighboring town of Bowdoin.

The manhunt for suspected mass shooter Robert R. Card in Maine continued into the early hours of Friday, with law enforcement agencies extending their round-the-clock search.

Following the tragic bar and bowling alley shootings that claimed 18 lives and left 13 others wounded, Card, a U.S. Army reservist, remained at large.

Officials strongly urged residents to stay indoors for their safety as they conducted the search, which unfolded on live television Thursday night.

Several search warrants were executed in the neighboring town of Bowdoin, where Card resided. Law enforcement surrounded Card’s rural home for over two hours, using a bullhorn to issue orders for him to surrender, although it appeared that no one was inside the residence.

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Police were uncertain whether Card was present in the house, and the amplified announcements were described as “standard search warrant announcements” by a Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson at the outset of the operation. Authorities stressed their commitment to thorough investigative efforts.

Lewiston and neighboring communities were significantly impacted by the search operation, with most businesses closed, minimal traffic on the streets, and heightened security around the hospital where many of the shooting victims received treatment.

Robert R. Card, aged 40, serves as a sergeant at a nearby U.S. Army Reserve base and had been temporarily committed to a mental health facility during the summer, according to law enforcement officials.

Photographs of a bearded man in a brown hooded sweatshirt and jeans, armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle, were circulated by the police at the crime scenes.

Card’s trail led to Lisbon, approximately 7 miles (11 km) southeast, where the Maine State Police discovered a white SUV believed to have been used by Card, parked at a boat launch on the river on the night of the shootings. Public records indicated that Card had three watercraft registrations: two Sea-Doos and a Bayliner.

The tragic events deeply affected towns throughout Androscoggin County, where residents were placed under shelter-in-place orders. This incident adds to the growing list of U.S. communities that have experienced gun-related mass shootings.

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According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, The number of shootings in the U.S. involving four or more people being shot is on track to reach 679 in 2023, up from 647 in 2022.

The 18 fatalities nearly match the annual number of homicides typically reported in Maine, which has ranged from 16 to 29 since 2012, according to Maine State Police.

Among the victims were Bill Young and his 14-year-old son Aaron, who were killed at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, as confirmed by Bill’s brother, Rob Young.

Bryan MacFarlane, aged 40, was also among the deceased. He was participating in a cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar & Grille as part of a group from the deaf community when he lost his life, as reported by his sister, Keri Brooks.

Maine has relatively lax gun regulations, with around half of its adults living in households with firearms, based on a 2020 study by RAND Corporation.

The state does not require permits for purchasing or carrying firearms and lacks “red flag” laws seen in some other states that allow law enforcement to temporarily disarm individuals deemed dangerous.

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U.S. Representative Jared Golden, a Democrat from Lewiston, noted that he has reversed his stance on an assault weapons ban in response to the tragedy. He called on Congress to implement such a ban, citing the need for stricter gun control measures.

Despite previous incidents, such as the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were tragically killed, Congress has struggled to pass comprehensive gun control legislation.

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