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Maine Shooting Could Be Worst in State History

Lewiston locked down as police hunt 'person of interest' Robert Card
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2023 5:55 AM CDT
Cities Locked Down in Search for Maine Shooter
This photo released by the Lewiston Maine Police Department shows Robert Card, who police have identified as a person of interest in connection to mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.   (Lewiston Maine Police Department via AP)

Lewiston, Maine, and two nearby communities remained locked down Thursday morning as authorities hunted a person of interest in a mass shooting believed to have killed at least 16 people. The Wednesday night shooting is likely the deadliest shooting in the state's history, with some officials putting the death toll at 22, the Portland Press Herald reports. Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told reporters late Wednesday night that there are "literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine" looking for Robert Card, a firearms instructor assigned to a US Army Reserve training base.

Sauschuck declined to estimate the death toll, calling it a "fluid situation." He said a vehicle of interest was found in Lisbon, a community next to Lewiston, where victims were shot at in two locations. He said residents of Lewiston and Lisbon should shelter in place as the search for Card continues; Maine State Police later expanded the order to include Bowdoin. Sauschuck said the 40-year-old should be considered armed and dangerous. The mayor of Auburn, the city on the other side of the Androscoggin River from Lewiston, told CNN that witnesses to the shootings were of all ages, with at least one teenager injured, and there was fear and panic at a reunification center. "You can train for this but you can never be completely prepared," Jason Levesque said. "It's an all-hands-on-deck situation."

Police said victims were shot at a bar and a bowling alley. One bowler who gave his name as Brandon tells the AP that he heard around 10 shots and initially thought it was a balloon popping. "I had my back turned to the door. And as soon as I turned and saw it was not a balloon—he was holding a weapon—I just booked it," he says. Brandon says he ran down the bowling alley and hid in the pin machinery. He was later bused to a center in Auburn. "I was putting on my bowling shoes when when it started. I've been barefoot for five hours," he says. Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson tells the New York Times that the gunman killed at least seven people at the bowling alley before continuing the rampage at a bar. (More Maine stories.)

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