December 6, 2023

The person who killed 18 folks and wounded 13 extra in Lewiston, Maine, the deadliest mass taking pictures in America this yr, had paranoid beliefs that individuals had been speaking about him, and he might have been listening to voices, the authorities stated on Saturday.

The person, Robert R. Card II, 40, had legally bought a number of weapons, some as not too long ago as a number of days earlier than the assault, officers stated, and will have beforehand visited the 2 companies — a bar and bowling alley — that he attacked on Wednesday night.

The assault sparked a two-day manhunt that ended on Friday evening when police discovered the person lifeless in a trailer at a recycling plant in Lisbon, the place he had as soon as labored. Officers stated that he appeared to have shot himself and that they consider he acted alone in finishing up the assault.

The revelation introduced a way of aid by way of Lewiston and neighboring cities, the place residents had been sheltering in place and lots of companies had closed.

On Saturday, officers supplied extra particulars concerning the gunman, who was within the Military Reserve and had grown up in Bowdoin, close to Lewiston.

“There’s paranoia, there’s some conspiracy theorist piece,” stated Commissioner Michael J. Sauschuck of the state’s public security division. He stated the person believed, wrongly, that “folks had been speaking about him” and will have additionally been listening to voices.

However Mr. Sauschuck stated there was no indication that Mr. Card had ever been forcibly dedicated for psychological well being therapy. He stated it was not clear whether or not the gunman knew any of the victims however stated he believed that Mr. Card had been to the bar and bowling alley beforehand.

“I believe that there’s a connection to all of these areas,” Mr. Sauschuck stated. “I do consider that there’s a connection, as if this gentleman had been in each of these spots.”

Questions continued to construct over whether or not extra may have been accomplished to stop the gunman from proudly owning weapons and buying extra. Maine lawmakers have resisted efforts to tighten gun legal guidelines partly due to its massive looking neighborhood, however the authorities can prohibit gun possession for people who find themselves struggling psychological challenges and are deemed to be a hazard to themselves or others.

Mr. Card was a sergeant top quality within the Military Reserve who had enlisted in 2002 and was assigned to a battalion in Saco, Maine. Police investigators had been trying into an incident through which he had a run-in with officers throughout a latest go to to Camp Smith, a Nationwide Guard coaching facility exterior Peekskill, N.Y., not removed from West Level, a senior legislation enforcement official stated. The official stated that Mr. Card was later evaluated at a psychological well being facility.

As of Saturday morning, three of the 13 folks wounded within the assault remained in crucial care, the general public security commissioner stated. All through city, companies had been reopening, however indicators of the town’s heavy losses remained. The police had been nonetheless processing the 2 scenes, and billboards at eating places and different companies flashed messages together with “Lewiston Sturdy.”

The gunman had left a paper notice behind, addressed to a relative and together with the passcode to his cellphone and details about his checking account. Mr. Sauschuck stated that it was not explicitly a suicide notice however that its tone instructed he was not going to be alive for much longer.

The police stated they’d discovered a protracted gun in Mr. Card’s white Subaru, which he had deserted close to the Androscoggin River not lengthy after the shootings, and two extra weapons had been discovered together with his physique within the trailer in a car parking zone of Maine Recycling, his former employer. It remained unclear when he bought the particular rifle that he had used within the assault.

The police had twice searched the recycling enterprise’s property with out discovering the gunman’s physique however later searched an extra lot the place they found him on Friday evening.

Mr. Sauschuck stated that, throughout the earlier searches, “no person had any thought” that the enterprise’s property prolonged throughout the road to the extra lot, maybe explaining why his physique was not discovered sooner.

The police have stated that the gunman started his assault at a bowling alley simply earlier than 7 p.m. on Wednesday, firing within the enterprise the place kids and adults had been bowling simply moments earlier than. He fled the scene however continued his rampage at a bar about 4 miles away, leaving 18 folks lifeless and 13 folks injured throughout each scenes.

Ryan McGee, the police chief in Lisbon, the place the gunman’s physique and automobile had been discovered, stated that the tip of the manhunt had introduced nice aid to the area and that individuals may focus extra on supporting these killed and wounded.

“I’m driving by way of Lisbon and I see folks strolling the streets, folks sitting on their porches, folks waving — thumbs up — that’s what neighborhood is all about,” he stated. “Shifting ahead, we must be interested by the victims.”

Those that had been killed ranged in age from 14 to 76, together with a father and son and several other individuals who had been a part of a deaf group of mates who had been taking part in cornhole within the bar.

The taking pictures was the deadliest mass taking pictures within the U.S. since a teenage gunman killed 21 folks — 19 fourth graders and two academics — at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Michael Corkery, Shaila Dewan, John Ismay, Steven Kurutz and Glenn Thrush contributed reporting. Kirsten Noyes contributed analysis.

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