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Maine Tragedy: Manhunt Underway as Arrest Warrant Issued for Suspect in Shooting Rampage That Claimed 18 Lives

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Tragedy Unfolds in Maine: Manhunt for Suspect in Deadliest Mass Shooting of the Year

In the aftermath of a devastating mass shooting at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, Maine, a frantic manhunt is underway for the suspected perpetrator, Robert Card, aged 40. Governor Janet Mills confirmed the harrowing toll, with 18 lives lost and 13 others injured during the Wednesday night rampage.

During a news conference on Thursday, Maine State Police Col. William Ross announced an arrest warrant for Card, accusing him of murder. Describing him as "armed and dangerous," officials issued a shelter-in-place order for Androscoggin and northern Sagadahoc counties, encompassing Lewiston, Auburn, and Lisbon. The precautionary measure resulted in widespread closures, affecting schools, businesses, and other facilities.

Over 350 law enforcement personnel are actively engaged in the intensive manhunt for Card, who is not only a certified firearms instructor but also a member of the US Army Reserves, as revealed by law enforcement officials in Maine to CNN. Disturbingly, Card had recently made threats of a shooting at a National Guard facility in Saco, Maine, and had reported mental health issues, including hearing voices.

In a text message to CNN, Card's brother, Ryan Card, confirmed the family's plea for surrender, emphasizing their cooperation with law enforcement. Ryan Card stressed the focus on the numerous people affected, calling the situation "many people's worst nightmare."

Residents woke up to a heightened state of alert, with officers carrying long guns combing through neighborhoods. "Nerves are rattled right now – (I'm) keeping an eye on the woods," expressed Cory, a Lisbon resident whose 10-year-old daughter was inside their home. The magnitude of the tragedy is evident, marking it as the deadliest mass shooting of the year in the United States and the worst since May 2022 when 19 students and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas.

The incident adds to a disturbing trend, with 565 mass shootings recorded in the country this year alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to address gun violence and its devastating consequences.

Tragedy Unfolds: Details Emerge on Lewiston Shooting Rampage

The aftermath of the devastating shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, reveals a heartbreaking toll, with 18 victims confirmed dead and 13 others injured. The attack unfolded across two locations, where seven victims were found dead at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley and eight at Schemengees Bar & Grille. An additional three succumbed to their injuries at the hospital, according to Maine State Police Col. William Ross.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Alexander of Central Maine Medical Center provided insights into the immediate medical response, with 14 patients admitted within a 45-minute span on Wednesday evening. As of the latest update, eight patients remain hospitalized, with three in critical condition and five in stable condition. Tragically, three patients lost their lives, two were discharged, and one was transferred.

Governor Janet Mills, acknowledging the gravity of the situation, expressed sorrow at a news conference, stating, “This is a dark day for Maine. It’s hard for us to think about healing when our hearts are broken.” The suspect, Robert Card, now faces an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder, with ten victims yet to be identified, which may raise the total count to 18.

The town of Lisbon is mobilized in response, with the entire Police Department joining the manhunt to ensure the safety of the community. Chief Ryan McGee urged residents to remain vigilant, emphasizing, “If the community sees anything, stay inside, don’t approach, call the police department.”

The rampage commenced shortly before 7 p.m. in Lewiston, prompting 911 calls about a shooting at Just-in-Time Recreation, followed by reports of an active shooter at Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant about 12 minutes later. The response from multiple agencies in this fluid and dynamic situation was significant.

Eyewitness accounts depict the chaos and fear that gripped the community, with individuals fleeing the scenes as law enforcement raced to intervene. Nichoel Wyman Arel, who witnessed the aftermath, described a scene of police lights, ambulances, and people running. Her account, along with others, underscores the shock and horror experienced by the residents of Lewiston as they grapple with the aftermath of this tragic event.

Heartbreak and Heroism Amidst Tragedy: Families Struggle with Lewiston Shooting Aftermath

The aftermath of the shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, reveals not only the devastating loss of life but also the profound impact on families and the community. Witnesses like Nichoel Wyman Arel recount the heart-wrenching scenes of families pouring out of the affected venues, emphasizing the tragedy that unfolded during what were likely ordinary family nights.

Arel, like many others, found solace in securing her home, recognizing the fear instilled in her daughter by the senseless violence. The psychological scars of such events extend beyond the immediate scene, permeating the sense of safety and security in the community.

Law enforcement's discovery of a "vehicle of interest" in Lisbon, 8 miles from Lewiston, prompted shelter-in-place orders, underscoring the urgency and complexity of the ongoing manhunt. The director of Public Safety, Michael Sauschuck, urged residents to remain vigilant as authorities intensify efforts to locate the suspect, Robert Card.

Tragically, some victims have been identified, revealing stories of heroism amidst the chaos. Tricia Asselin, a part-time employee at Just-In-Time Recreation, was killed while attempting to call 911, showing immense bravery in the face of danger. Another victim, Joseph Walker, the manager of Schemengees Bar & Grille, reportedly lost his life trying to confront the assailant.

Insights into Card's background shed light on potential contributing factors. A sergeant first class in the Army Reserve with no combat deployments, Card underwent evaluation at a military hospital after expressing concerning thoughts during the summer. His sister-in-law, Katie O’Neill, emphasizes that Card's mental health struggles were acute, not indicative of a long-standing issue.

As the community grapples with the aftermath, the stories of heroism, resilience, and the profound impact on families serve as a poignant reminder of the human toll of such senseless acts. The road to healing will undoubtedly be long, with the scars of this tragic event etched into the fabric of the Lewiston community.

Community Mourns: Insights into Suspect and Impact on Lewiston

As the community of Lewiston grapples with the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting, details about the suspect, Robert Card, are emerging. Clifford Steeves, who served alongside Card in the Army Reserve, portrayed him as a quiet and respectful individual, expressing shock at the unfolding events. Steeves emphasized Card's expertise in firearms training and land navigation, describing him as an outdoorsman and a skilled marksman.

While Card did not experience combat, his extensive training made him comfortable in wooded environments, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing manhunt. Authorities have yet to provide a clear motive for the shooting, but speculation points to a recent breakup with a longtime girlfriend, who frequented the bowling alley and bar involved in the attacks.

Lewiston, a close-knit community with a history of hard work and perseverance, has been deeply affected by the assault. Governor Janet Mills, who has personal ties to the city, expressed the shock and sorrow felt by residents, emphasizing that no city or state deserves such a terrible assault on its citizens. President Joe Biden has offered full federal support, and local leaders, including Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline and Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, have voiced their heartbreak and commitment to supporting the community through this challenging time.

The significance of the locations targeted, described by Shanna Cox, President of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, as "family locations," intensifies the impact on the community. Family league activities at the bowling alley and the bar underscore the devastating ripple effect on the lives of residents.

As the city mourns the lives lost and supports those injured, the strength and resilience of Lewiston will undoubtedly be tested. The outpouring of grief, coupled with the collective determination to overcome this tragedy, paints a picture of a community bound together by shared experiences and a commitment to healing in the face of adversity.

Community's Deep Wounds: Mayor Reflects on Impact of Lewiston Tragedy

Mayor Jason Levesque, grappling with the profound impact of the Lewiston mass shooting, expressed the deep scars that will linger within the community. Reflecting on the tragic events, he acknowledged that very few residents will remain untouched by this senseless act of violence. The emotional toll is evident as he shared that the weight of this tragedy would stay with him for the rest of his life.

Levesque, who personally knew individuals present during the attacks, highlighted the trauma experienced by witnesses and their families. While there were moments of relief seeing loved ones reunified, the wait and uncertainty for others left an indelible mark, with some facing the harsh reality that they might never be reunited.

The local bowling alley, Just-In-Time Recreation, conveyed its devastation in a heartfelt statement on Facebook, recognizing the loss of cherished individuals from the community. The pain echoed in their words, acknowledging the inability of any words to mend or improve the situation.

As the community grapples with grief and shock, the impact of this tragedy will resonate for years to come. The mayor's candid reflections offer a glimpse into the deep wounds inflicted on Lewiston, emphasizing the challenging journey of healing that lies ahead for a community shattered by an unthinkable act of violence.

Report contributed by CNN's Lauren Mascarenhas, Jamiel Lynch, Sara Smart, Josh Campbell, Chris Boyette, Curt Devine, Casey Tolan, Isabelle Chapman, Allison Gordon, Nouran Salahieh, and Joe Sutton.

A Community in Mourning Faces a Long Path to Healing

As the details surrounding the Lewiston mass shooting continue to unfold, the community is left grappling with profound grief and the lasting impact of an unimaginable tragedy. Mayor Jason Levesque's heartfelt reflections underscore the deep wounds that will persist within the community for years to come. The trauma experienced by witnesses, families, and individuals directly affected by the violence leaves an indelible mark on the collective psyche of Lewiston.

The stark contrast between moments of reunification and the agonizing wait for others paints a poignant picture of the emotional rollercoaster that the community endured during and after the tragic events. Just-In-Time Recreation, a local establishment, echoes the sentiment of devastation, recognizing the loss of cherished members from their close-knit bowling family and the broader community.

As the community comes to terms with the reality of this senseless act, the road to healing will be arduous. The outpouring of support from local leaders, the acknowledgment of federal assistance from President Joe Biden, and the collective strength of the community will play crucial roles in navigating the challenging journey ahead. The scars of this dark chapter will be etched into the fabric of Lewiston, a reminder of the resilience required to rebuild and the unity necessary to overcome profound loss.

In the face of tragedy, the community is now tasked with finding solace, supporting one another, and collectively working towards a future where the echoes of this devastating event gradually fade, replaced by a renewed sense of hope and strength.

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