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Tragedy Unfolds in Lewiston, Maine: At Least 16 Lives Lost in Dual Shootings; Intense Manhunt for 'Person of Interest' Underway


CNN Exclusive: Tragedy Strikes Lewiston, Maine with Dual Shootings; 16 Confirmed Dead, Dozens Injured in Night of Horror

Editor’s Follow along with CNN’s latest coverage of the shootings in Lewiston, Maine.

In a harrowing incident that unfolded Wednesday night, at least 16 lives were tragically lost, and dozens left injured following two separate shootings at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston, Maine. An ongoing intense manhunt is currently underway for a "person of interest" identified as Robert Card, 40, of Bowdoin, who is considered armed and dangerous, according to Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck.

Card, a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve, had reportedly made threats of carrying out a shooting at a National Guard facility in Saco, Maine. Officials also disclosed Card's reported mental health issues, including instances of hearing voices. During a news conference, Commissioner Sauschuck refrained from providing additional details about Card's background, stating, “We’re not prepared to go into (Card’s) background.”

Contradictory reports surfaced regarding the death toll, with law enforcement officials informing CNN of at least 16 fatalities, while Lewiston City Councilor Robert McCarthy claimed 22 lives lost, citing a city administrator. The number of injuries remains uncertain, with law enforcement sources unable to confirm how many were a result of gunfire.

The shootings unfolded around 7 p.m. ET, with active incidents reported at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley on Mollison Way, and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street, as detailed by Lewiston police. Urging businesses to lock down or close during the investigation, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook Wednesday evening.

Images of a "suspect for identification" were released by the sheriff’s office, depicting an individual holding a high-powered assault-style rifle. Lewiston and the neighboring town of Lisbon are currently under shelter-in-place orders, with a "vehicle of interest" located in Lisbon, according to Commissioner Sauschuck. Maine State Police confirmed the image as the suspect’s car.

Earlier, Lewiston police sought public assistance in locating a vehicle, sharing an image of a small, white SUV with a front bumper believed to be painted black. Situated approximately 36 miles north of Portland, Lewiston is Maine's second-largest city. The community remains in shock as investigations into the motives and details of the tragic events are underway.

Urgent Advisory: Community on High Alert as Law Enforcement Mobilizes in Response to Lewiston Shootings

In the wake of the tragic dual shootings in Lewiston, Maine, state police issued a compelling message via Facebook, urging residents to "stay inside your home with the doors locked." The severity of the situation was underscored with a plea for vigilance: "If you see any suspicious activity or individuals, please call 911."

Initial reports suggested a third shooting at a Walmart distribution center, but a company spokesperson swiftly clarified to CNN that none of Walmart’s facilities were involved in the incidents. Despite the clarification, anxiety continued to mount, prompting officials in the nearby city of Auburn, located less than 2 miles west from Lewiston, to "strongly urge" residents to shelter in place. This advisory was disseminated via X, formerly Twitter.

As the gravity of the situation escalated, the FBI's Boston division issued a statement, affirming coordination with law enforcement partners in Maine. The FBI stands "ready to assist with any available resources" and implored the public to remain vigilant during these trying times.

Maine Governor Janet Mills, briefed on the unfolding events, took to Facebook to address the community, emphasizing the importance of adhering to directives from state and local enforcement. "I urge all people in the area to follow the direction of State and local enforcement. I will continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with public safety officials," she stated.

CNN's dedicated reporters, including Jamiel Lynch, Josh Campbell, Christina Maxouris, and Chris Boyette, contributed to this report, providing ongoing coverage and insights into the evolving situation in Lewiston. As the community grapples with shock and uncertainty, the collective focus remains on supporting law enforcement efforts and ensuring the safety of all residents.

In the face of the unfolding tragedy in Lewiston, Maine, the community is gripped by a palpable sense of urgency and concern. As law enforcement agencies work tirelessly to address the aftermath of the dual shootings, residents are reminded to prioritize their safety by staying indoors and reporting any suspicious activity. The mistaken report of a third shooting at a Walmart distribution center adds to the heightened atmosphere of anxiety, emphasizing the need for accurate information during such critical moments.

The neighboring city of Auburn, standing in solidarity with Lewiston, has also issued a strong plea for residents to shelter in place, highlighting the interconnectedness of communities in times of crisis. The FBI's commitment to coordinating with local authorities underscores the collaborative effort to manage and investigate the situation effectively.

Governor Janet Mills' reassurance and call for adherence to law enforcement directives provide a steady voice in a time of uncertainty, emphasizing the importance of community cooperation. As the events continue to unfold, the diligent reporting by CNN's dedicated team serves as a crucial source of information for both local and global audiences.

In the midst of this tragedy, the collective hope is for swift resolution, justice for the victims, and healing for the community as it grapples with the aftermath of this devastating incident.