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Communities in Maine Exhale: Relief Sways Anxious Hearts as Suspected Perpetrator of 18 Killings is Discovered Deceased


"Relief Descends on Grieving Maine Community as Accused Shooter of 18 Found Dead: Unraveling the Tragedy of Robert Card's Self-Inflicted End"

A profound sense of relief permeated a grief-stricken Maine community, culminating a two-day ordeal of anguish, as authorities confirmed the discovery of the lifeless body of Robert Card, the man accused of the heinous killing of 18 individuals at a bowling alley and restaurant earlier in the week. The 40-year-old's body, bearing the weight of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was located near a river, approximately 10 miles from the shattered community of Lewiston.

The chilling denouement unfolded within the confines of a box trailer situated in an overflow parking lot of the Maine Recycling Corporation in Lisbon, divulged Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck during a Saturday morning news conference. Card, who had recently been terminated from the recycling center, was found inside an unlocked trailer, clad in the same sweatshirt captured by surveillance cameras during the Wednesday night shooting. Two firearms lay beside him, a stark testament to the grim events that transpired.

Sauschuck detailed the complexities of the investigation, noting that while the facility had initially been deemed clear, the owner of Maine Recycling directed law enforcement to additional trailers initially overlooked. This revelation concluded an exhaustive two-day manhunt, releasing the grip of fear that had paralyzed the serene, picturesque area and left residents reluctant to venture beyond the safety of their homes.

Maine Governor Janet Mills expressed her own sense of relief during a Friday evening news conference, acknowledging that the resolution of the manhunt offered a collective exhale for the community. However, she tempered this relief with an awareness that Card's demise might not bring solace to everyone affected.

"Like many people, I'm breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone," Mills stated. "I know there are some people – many people – who share that sentiment, but I also know that his death might not bring solace to many."

Despite the somber reality, Governor Mills expressed hope that the community could now embark on a challenging journey toward healing, vowing to do so collectively. The discovery of Card's fate, she noted, marked the beginning of "a long and difficult road to healing – but we will heal together."

"The Aftermath: Grieving Lewiston Processes Pain and Relief as Details Emerge in the Wake of the Tragic Shooting Spree"

Commencing on a fateful Wednesday night at Just-in-Time Recreation and escalating at Schemengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston, a relentless manhunt unfolded in the wake of gunshots that shattered the tranquility of this close-knit community. The 18 lives lost, ranging from 14 to 76 years old, were identified by officials on Friday, revealing a heartbreaking array of victims that included a father-son bowling duo, participants in a deaf cornhole tournament, and fathers leaving behind young children. The devastating rampage also left 13 others wounded, with five still hospitalized as of Saturday, three in critical condition.

For the survivors, the relief of knowing the suspected perpetrator, Robert Card, had been found dead was tempered by the haunting questions left unanswered. A relative of one victim expressed gratitude that the community could now begin to move forward without the looming fear of his presence. Yet, the void of understanding lingered, leaving a survivor with conflicting emotions, stating, "I know it does give my daughter some peace to know that he has been caught because that was a fear of hers – that he's still out there."

Law enforcement detailed Card's background as a U.S. Army reservist and certified firearms instructor, highlighting his extensive training in land navigation and marksmanship. Described as a skilled marksman by a former comrade, Card's military proficiency added a chilling layer to the unfolding tragedy.

The wife of one victim, Joshua Seal, expressed mixed emotions about the shooter's death, grappling with the absence of answers to pressing questions. Elizabeth Seal, through an American Sign Language interpreter, voiced her frustration: "First and foremost, I wanted him to be apprehended. I wanted to ask questions that will not be answered. Why did you do this? What was the motive? Why would you hurt so many families?"

Amid the pain, the community mourns the loss of three victims from the local deaf community, including Joshua Seal, who served as the director of interpreting services for the disability advocacy group Pine Tree Society. As the grieving process unfolds, the community finds itself in a delicate balance between sorrow and relief, united in the fight to reclaim its light amidst the darkness cast by this tragic event.

"Closure Amidst Grief: Families Affected by Maine Shooting Seek Solace in Resolution, Acknowledging Unanswered 'Why' Questions"

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Maine, Rob Young, who lost his brother and nephew in the incident, expressed a poignant sentiment to CNN, emphasizing that, for his family, the discovery of the shooter's death brought a semblance of closure. In the face of the agonizing "why" that looms over such incidents, Young acknowledged that no answer could restore their lost loved ones. Bill Young, described as the family's rock, and his 14-year-old son, Aaron, were among the victims, bowling together when their lives were tragically cut short.

"For our family, this is kind of the outcome we wanted," said Rob Young. "It puts a closure for us as a family in a sense where … we don’t want to have to worry about him hurting anyone else."

Tammy Asselin, another individual directly impacted by the tragedy, voiced the lingering questions that haunt many survivors. Expressing a desire to understand the motive behind the gunman's choice of locations and the deliberate firing in the presence of children, Asselin acknowledged the likelihood of these 'why' questions remaining forever unanswered.

The Lewiston community, resilient in the face of uncertainty, demonstrated strength even before the discovery of the shooter's body. Downtown Lewiston, adorned with the colors of fall leaves, witnessed a steady stream of people navigating its streets, undeterred by the shelter-in-place order that had been in effect during the manhunt. Supportive messages adorned trees, underscoring the community's solidarity and offering solace in a challenging time.

Amid expressions of relief across the community, state, and country, President Joe Biden conveyed his gratitude for the safety of Maine residents, stating that his administration would continue providing support to the people of Maine. Urging Congress to address gun violence, he reiterated his commitment to combating the ongoing epidemic. As the Lewiston community grapples with the aftermath, the nation watches, recognizing the shared responsibility to ensure that such tragedies do not become a recurring narrative.

"Community Resilience Amid Tragedy: Businesses Reopen with Caution as Residents Navigate the Aftermath"

As the tight-knit community of Lewiston grapples with the aftermath of the tragic shooting, some businesses cautiously reopened their doors on Friday, mindful of safety concerns that lingered in the air. Among them, Halal markets catering to the immigrant community chose to serve customers for a shortened period, emblematic of the delicate balance between resuming daily activities and acknowledging the prevailing unease.

Deborah Roy, still in the throes of grief after losing her 92-year-old mother just weeks ago, found solace in a brief venture outside her home. Attempting to hold back tears, she recounted her experience visiting a grocery store in Lisbon, a town 15 minutes away from Lewiston. The emotional impact was palpable as she described the scene—lines of customers stretching through the store, a stark reminder of the disrupted normalcy that had befallen the community.

"I just wanted to go for a ride to get away," shared Roy, her voice laden with emotion. As she crossed a bridge and encountered a heightened presence of officers, the reality of the situation hit her. "I'm just blown away to see this happening in our own little town," she expressed tearfully. "How one person can tip the world upside down, it’s devastating."

The discovery of the suspect's body near the Androscoggin River, 10 miles from Lewiston, marked the end of a 48-hour manhunt. State Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck provided updates, acknowledging that details surrounding Card's time of death remained uncertain, and no motive had been officially announced. Law enforcement sources, however, hinted at a theory that Card, recently separated from a long-time girlfriend, targeted the bowling alley and bar due to their past frequented by the couple. Sauschuck also revealed that Card left behind a note to his family, adding another layer to the complex narrative.

As the community navigates the intricate process of healing, reopening businesses becomes a symbolic act of resilience, signaling a collective determination to reclaim a semblance of normalcy while still grappling with the shockwaves of tragedy.

"Insights into Card's Intentions: Press Conference Reveals Cryptic Note and Unfair Backlash Against Family"

In a Saturday press conference, State Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck shed light on the contents of a note left by Robert Card, the suspected perpetrator of the tragic shooting in Maine. Describing it as a message to a loved one, the note included essential information such as the passcode for his phone and bank account numbers. While not explicitly a suicide note, the tone conveyed a somber farewell, indicating that Card did not plan to be present and wanted to ensure his loved one had access to specific details.

Despite the cooperation of Card's family, crucial in identifying the shooter, they have faced unfair threats and harassment due to Card's actions, Sauschuck revealed. He emphasized that the family played a pivotal role in assisting investigators, with three family members being among the first to positively identify Card based on released photos. The family has endured not only grief but also threats, with people congregating at their homes, questioning their knowledge and assigning blame.

Before the announcement of Card's death, authorities discovered a note from him, leading to an expanded search that included a water search in the Androscoggin River. Despite extensive efforts involving divers, underwater vessels, and aircraft, Card remained elusive. The two-day manhunt involved thorough searches of various locations, from a greenhouse at Springworks Farm in Lisbon to homes and places associated with the suspect.

Law enforcement officers twice visited Card's home, employing significant resources in their pursuit. A search warrant executed at the residence sought evidence related to a potential plan for the shootings, including computers, notes, and weapons. Investigators also recovered a cell phone belonging to Card, adding to the complexity of the case.

Revealing a disturbing aspect of the timeline, investigators believe the gun used in the massacre was legally purchased just days before Card was hospitalized and mandated to undergo psychiatric evaluation in mid-July. Card, an Army Reserve member since 2002, had been reported for erratic behavior, prompting a response from the New York State Police at the Camp Smith military base where he served in Cortlandt, New York. The intricate details emerging paint a complex picture of Card's actions and the challenges faced by law enforcement in unraveling the motives behind this devastating incident.

"Challenges in Unraveling Card's Actions: Complex Timeline Emerges Amid Mental Health Concerns and Firearms Purchases"

Robert Card's encounters with law enforcement prior to the tragic shooting in Lewiston present a convoluted timeline, highlighting the challenges faced by authorities in navigating mental health concerns and firearms regulations. Reports indicate that Card exhibited belligerent and possibly intoxicated behavior, prompting New York State Police to transport him to a nearby hospital for suspected intoxication. Despite this encounter, details surrounding the incident remain elusive, with the New York State Police declining to comment on the active investigation.

The Army, responding to concerns about Card's mental state, issued a "Command Referral" for him to seek treatment. A federal law enforcement source revealed that Card had been hearing voices and expressing thoughts about harming other soldiers. Remarkably, these encounters occurred merely 10 days after Card purchased a high-powered rifle from a Maine gun store—a Ruger SFAR chambered for high-powered 308 ammunition.

While acknowledging a mental health component, State Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck clarified that Maine's gun laws do not necessarily prohibit an individual from purchasing a firearm based solely on a mental health diagnosis or treatment. He noted that without a court mandate for mental health treatment, Card's name may not have been flagged during the firearms purchase background check.

Inside Card's white Subaru, investigators discovered a "long gun," believed to be the same weapon used in the mass shooting. Although a ballistics match is pending confirmation, the FBI and ATF will process the weapon for fingerprints and DNA, while laboratory testing will determine if the bullets and shell casings found at the scene align with the firearm.

In a disconcerting revelation, it was disclosed that Card had also acquired a Beretta 92-F 9mm semi-automatic pistol in July, the standard pistol of the U.S. military. This additional firearm deepens the complexity of the investigation, underscoring the need for meticulous examination of Card's actions and the interconnected web of events leading up to the tragic incident in Lewiston.

"Tragedy Unfolds in Lewiston: A Community Shattered by the Shocking Shooting Rampage"

At the cusp of 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Robert Card unleashed a horrifying series of shootings at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, sending shockwaves through the largely working-class community. The initial 911 call from Just-In-Time Recreation pierced the evening at 6:56 p.m., with the first Lewiston police officer swiftly responding at 7 p.m., according to State Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck. Terrifying scenes unfolded as individuals fled the bowling alley, seeking refuge from the chaos that had erupted.

Approximately 12 minutes after the initial calls, multiple 911 reports flooded in, signaling another shooter at Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant, located about 4 miles from the bowling alley. The rapid succession of events triggered a comprehensive manhunt and prompted shelter-in-place orders for Androscoggin and northern Sagadahoc counties, encompassing Lewiston, Auburn, and Lisbon.

Investigators, grappling with the enormity of the tragedy, executed a search warrant on Thursday at Card's home, delving into the search for computers, notes, weapons, and any evidence hinting at a plan for the shootings. Authorities discovered Card's abandoned car about 8 miles from Lewiston in Lisbon, creating a trail that connected the forsaken vehicle to the eventual discovery of his lifeless body.

The devastating toll of the shooting rampage became painfully apparent as the 18 victims were identified on Friday, their ages spanning from 14 to 76. Among the heart-wrenching stories, Aaron Young, an honor student, lost his life while bowling with his father, Bill, the family's cornerstone. Bill Young, an auto mechanic, left a profound void in the lives of his loved ones, leaving behind a family grappling with incomprehensible grief.

Bob Violette, a 76-year-old soon-to-be 77, met a tragic end at the bowling alley where he was teaching a youth bowling league. Relatives believe he sacrificed himself to protect his students, showcasing the selflessness that defined him. His wife, Lucille, also fell victim to the senseless violence, leaving the community grappling with the profound loss of two cherished lives.

As Lewiston comes to terms with the aftermath of this heinous act, the echoes of tragedy reverberate through the stories of those who were taken too soon, leaving an indelible mark on the collective heart of the community.

"Bob Violette's Heroic Legacy: A Friend's Tribute Amidst Tragedy"

In the wake of the devastating shooting rampage in Lewiston, the heroic legacy of Bob Violette comes to the forefront. A cherished friend, Brandon Dubuc, shared poignant memories with WBZ, stating, "Bob's helped with the youth league for as long as I can remember." Dubuc expressed unwavering confidence in Violette's protective instincts, emphasizing, "If he was there with those kids, he was protecting those kids. I have no doubt about that."

Bob Violette's commitment to the youth league and his instinct to safeguard the children under his care stand as a testament to his character. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, the community mourns the loss of a dedicated individual who, in his final moments, demonstrated courage and selflessness. As the community grapples with grief, stories like Violette's serve as a reminder of the resilience and strength that can emerge even in the darkest of times.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, Holly Yan, Jamiel Lynch, Jeanne Bonner, Jay Croft, Alaa Elassar, Raja Razek, Mary Kay Mallonee, and Michelle Watson contributed valuable insights to this report, capturing the multifaceted impact of the tragic events in Lewiston.

"In the aftermath of the tragic shooting rampage that unfolded in Lewiston, the community is left grappling with profound grief and indescribable loss. The stories of the victims, each with their unique lives and contributions, resonate as testaments to the depth of sorrow felt by those who knew and loved them. From the heroic legacy of Bob Violette, who protected the youth league with unwavering dedication, to the heartbreaking loss of Aaron Young, an honor student whose promising future was cut short, the impact of this senseless violence reverberates through the collective heart of the community.

As the community mourns, the resilience and strength of individuals like Violette stand as beacons of hope amidst the darkness. Friends and family come together to share memories, offering solace and support in the face of unimaginable tragedy. The collaborative efforts of reporters, contributors, and the broader community seek to capture the multifaceted impact of these events, ensuring that the stories of those taken too soon are remembered.

In this time of sorrow, the community stands united, drawing strength from the memories of their loved ones and the collective determination to heal. The road ahead is undoubtedly long and challenging, but the bonds forged in grief and the shared commitment to remember and honor the victims provide a glimmer of light in the face of profound darkness."