Where Is Robert Card? Mentally Ill Army Reservist Who Opened Fire at Bowling Alley Before Shooting at Nearby Bar May Have Crossed into Massachusetts

Lewiston, a small city with a population of around 38,000, remains under lockdown as law enforcement officers search for Robert Card.

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Robert Card, the "highly-skilled" gunman first targeted a children's bowling league and a nearby bar where he opened fire at youngsters killing at least 18 and injuring 60 others in Lewiston, Maine. The gunman remains at large, and a "shelter-in-place" advisory has been extended to multiple towns as law enforcement continues their manhunt.

Residents of both Lewiston and nearby towns Lisbon and Bowdoin have been warned not to venture outside on Thursday morning while the gunman remains at large. Public schools in Lewiston, Bowdoin, and Portland, the largest city in the state, which is over 30 miles from the site of the shooting, have been closed as a safety measure.

Card Still at Large

Robert Card
Robert Card X

The Massachusetts State Police said that reports heard on police scanners on Thursday morning, suggesting that the gunman carrying out the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, may have crossed into Massachusetts, are currently "unsubstantiated."

"The report originated in Oxford, ME. Passed on in an abundance of caution and we are gathering more info but as of right now unsubstantiated," according to Boston's 25 News.

Robert Card
The Maine shooting suspect identified as Robert Card seen armed with an AR-15 rifle as he opens fire on multiple locations X

Police have earlier identified Robert Card, 40, an Army Reserve firearms instructor who had been previously sectioned, as a person of interest in the case. Card is from Bowdoin, and his abandoned vehicle was located in Lisbon shortly after the shooting occurred.

The suspect used an AR-15-style rifle to carry out the shooting, first at the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and then at the nearby Schemengees Bar and Grille.

Lewiston councilor Robert McCarthy revealed on Thursday morning that the death toll had reached 22, and the town was grappling with the aftermath of "this kind of a shooting event."

Lewiston, a small city with a population of around 38,000, remains under lockdown as law enforcement officers search for Robert Card. He was placed on a psychiatric hold during the summer due to mental health concerns.

Robert Card
Robert Card seen opening fire at one of the three locations in Maine X

Card had reported hearing voices and made threats of violence, including an alleged threat to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.

"Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal work to locate Robert Card who is a person of interest in the Lewiston shootings," Maine State police said on Facebook.

Authorities suspect that Robert Card may have connections to Massachusetts, and police are stationed at the border between Maine and Massachusetts to monitor any potential movement or attempts to cross state lines.

First Victim Identified

This came as the first victim of Card's carnage was identified on Thursday morning. Justin Karcher, 23, is among the 50 people injured in the shooting. His mother, Jessica Karcher, told the Washington Post on Thursday that Justin is in the intensive care unit and is on a ventilator. Medical professionals have had to perform resuscitation multiple times following emergency surgery.

Robert Card
Robert Card Facebook

"He's not out of the woods," she explained. In July 2019, Justin had to witness his father being fatally shot in a Walmart parking lot, his mother, Jessica, said.

"His father passed away in front of him," she lamented.

"My head is pounding," she said of her son shortly after 2:30 a.m.

"I just called the hospital for an update. And of course, they don't have one."

Other survivors have also recounted their harrowing experiences, sharing that they escaped by running down bowling lanes and seeking cover behind the pins while the shooter fired rounds from an AR-15-style rifle.

The incident unfolded while children were engaged in play, and it resulted in injuries to several teenagers.

Meghan Hutchinson described the terrifying moment when her daughter was grazed by a bullet inside the bowling alley as they were trying to flee from the gunman.

Robert Card
Robert Card Facebook

"We were in the back room. Another child came in whose arm had a massive ... was bleeding profusely. So we barricaded in there and another parent was in the room with me. She had a phone and she called 911," the mother told WMTW.

A heavy police presence is outside the Central Maine Medical Center on Thursday morning, with officers positioned at every entrance while armed with high-powered rifles. The hospital is currently under lockdown, and no visitors are permitted.

In addition to local law enforcement, federal agencies such as the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agents have joined the search efforts. Detectives are actively investigating the shooter's cellphone signals, social media activity, and electronic records to construct a timeline of his movements leading up to the shooting.

This article was first published on October 26, 2023