Who Is Robert Card? Maine Shooting Suspect is Army Reserve Firearms Instructor Who Was Recently Sanctioned after Reporting 'Hallucinations'

According to reports, Card is a firearms instructor in the US Army Reserve who was recently discharged from a mental health facility after reporting hallucinations.

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Police have identified Robert Card from Bowdoin as the "person of interest" in the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, wherein he opened fire at multiple locations killing at least 18 and injuring around 60 people. Card, 40, is believed to have suffered from mental health issues and was reportedly arrested earlier for child pornography and is a registered sex offender.

However, there is no official confirmation yet on this. Card was placed under involuntary psychiatric evaluation (sectioned) after he reportedly claimed to be hearing voices and made threats to carry out a shooting at his National Guard base located in Saco, Maine. A massive manhunt is underway to track Card.

Child Porn Charges, Mental Health Issues

Robert Card
Robert Card Facebook

Card was armed with an AR-15-style rifle equipped with laser optics when he entered the bowling alley at 7:15 pm. He was driving a 2013 white Subaru. Eric Samson, the sheriff of Androscoggin County, reported at 11:20 pm that law enforcement officers had located the vehicle in Lisbon, which is around seven miles southeast of Lewiston.

However, Card was not found inside the vehicle at that time.

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

According to reports, Card is a firearms instructor in the US Army Reserve who was recently discharged from a mental health facility after reporting hallucinations.

Other reports claim that Card was arrested earlier on child pornography charges and is a repeated sex offender.

A photograph released by the sheriff's office showed a white man entering the Sparetime recreation center with an AR-15-style rifle equipped with a laser optic. The man was wearing black combat trousers and a brown top, and his face was clearly visible in the image.

As a precaution, the neighboring city of Auburn was put on lockdown.

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

Also, the Lewiston police have released a photo of the white station wagon they are searching for, noting that it may have a black-painted bumper.

Local councilor Robert McCarthy said that the tragic incident occurred during a children's bowling party at Sparetime. Justin Juray, one of the bowling alley's owners, described the scene as being in a state of "total chaos."

McCarthy also mentioned that the police had a "tentative identity" for the gunman. The news of the shooting incident even interrupted Joe Biden's state dinner with the prime minister of Australia to inform the President.

The Maine State Police said that they believe the armed suspect is currently in Lewiston. They have advised local residents and businesses to secure their doors and stay in place as a safety measure.

"Please stay off the streets and allow law enforcement to diffuse the situation," the state agency warned residents. "If you see any suspicious activity or individuals please call 911."

As of 9 pm, the local hospital has not been able to confirm any casualties resulting from the incident.

"Central Maine Healthcare is coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients," the hospital said.

Official information about the shootings and potential victims has not been revealed by authorities. However, the Androscoggin Sheriff's Office did share two photos of the suspect carrying a rifle and stated on its Facebook page that there were "two active shooter events."

Suspect at Large

Emergency responders were called to separate shootings at Sparetime Recreation bowling alley, Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant as reported by the Sun Journal.

Robert Card
Robert Card X

Police were then called to a third location, a Walmart distribution center, said Derrick St. Laurent, a Lewiston spokesman.

St. Laurent told the Sun Journal that the initial call, to Sparetime, came at around 7:16 pm. Police were then called to Schemengee's, and then, at around 8:15 pm, to the Walmart location.

Surrounding towns, including those as far away as New Hampshire, were called upon to provide mutual aid, as per the local outlet.

Joe Pennington, a Walmart spokesman, said: "This shooting did not occur on Walmart property."

McCarthy told CNN: "My understanding is that they have a tentative identification. They have set up the National Guard center as a triage center.

"The hospitals have called up all off-duty staff. Our hospitals are not geared to cope with this, but they are doing the best they can. We are blessed with the best police in the state, and I am sure they are doing all they can."

Robert Card
Robert Card Facebook

Asked about efforts to identify the gunman, McCarthy said: "They have a picture of a vehicle they believe he was in, and they have some unique characteristics - the front bumper is black. I'm told they have the plate number. I'm told they are looking for him hard."

Videos shared on social media showed police racing to the scene in the town of Lewiston, which has a population of approximately 36,000 people.

There were 29 total homicides in Maine last year, according to State Department of Public Safety statistics cited by NBC News.

This article was first published on October 26, 2023