Maine Governor Condemns Deadly Shooting Rampage as ‘Attack on Our Values’

The suspect in the mass shooting that killed at least 18 people and injured 13 others in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night has been identified as Robert Card, a 40-year-old Army sergeant who was trained as a firearms instructor in Saco, Maine.

According to a state police bulletin obtained by the Associated Press, Card had spent time in a mental health center in the summer of 2023 and had threatened to commit a shooting at the base. He was also described as “armed and dangerous” by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office, which released two images of him carrying a firearm and walking into a building.

The police also shared a photo of a white vehicle with a black-painted front bumper, believed to be driven by Card, and asked anyone who recognized it to contact them.

Card remains at large as hundreds of police officers are involved in a massive manhunt across the state. The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also assisting in the investigation.


Shooting spree targeted restaurant and bowling alley

The shooting spree began around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, when Card opened fire at a restaurant called The Grill, killing several people and wounding others. He then moved to a nearby bowling alley called Bowl-O-Rama, where he continued his rampage and killed more victims.

Witnesses described the scene as chaotic and terrifying, with people running for cover and hiding under tables. Some said they heard dozens of gunshots and saw bodies lying on the floor.

The motive for the attack is still unclear, but police said they were looking into Card’s background and possible connections to the locations he targeted.

Governor says shooting ‘strikes at the very heart of who we are’

Maine Governor Janet Mills expressed her grief and outrage over the shooting, calling it an “attack on our values” and “the deadliest shooting in our state’s history.”

“This attack strikes at the very heart of who we are and the values we hold dear for this precious place we call home,” Mills said at a news conference on Thursday. “No words can truly or fully measure the grief.”

Mills also praised the first responders and medical staff who rushed to help the victims, and urged Mainers to support each other in this difficult time.

She said she spoke to President Joe Biden, who offered full federal support and condolences. Biden also issued a statement condemning the shooting and calling for action on gun reform.

“We cannot accept this as normal. We have to act,” Biden said. “We have to end the epidemic of gun violence in America.”

Community in shock and mourning

The small city of Lewiston, with a population of about 36,000, is known for its diverse and vibrant community. It is home to many immigrants and refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, who have contributed to its cultural and economic growth.

The shooting has shaken the community to its core, as many residents knew or were related to the victims. Some of them gathered at a local church on Thursday to pray and comfort each other.

Schools in the district were closed on Thursday, and a reunification center was set up for people who had questions about their loved ones.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Friday night at a park near the scene of the shooting, where people will honor the lives lost and call for peace.

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