Divers join hunt for suspected Maine gunman who killed 18 as they extend search to river

27 October 2023, 18:11 | Updated: 27 October 2023, 18:14

Divers are to join the search for suspected gunman Robert Card.
Divers are to join the search for suspected gunman Robert Card. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

Divers are to join the hunt for suspected gunman Robert Card after a vehicle was found at a boat ramp near a river in Lisbon.

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Police launched a huge manhunt for Robert Card, 40, after he was identified as the suspected gunman behind the attacks in the small town of Lewiston.

A vehicle connected to the shooting suspect was found at a boat ramp near the Androscoggin River in Lisbon, Maine it was said on Friday.

Press maps showed that the suspect’s car was found in Pejepscot boat landing, according to Maine's Commissioner of Public Safety Mike Sauschuck.

"We will be checking for evidence... checking for potential bodies," he said at a press conference on Friday.

"I'm not telling you we think the suspect is in the water," he added.

Mr Sauschuck added that the search of the river will also include increased searches of the surrounding area, including an aerial search by helicopters.

Read more: Maine gunman who killed 18 'still at large and could be planning another attack', as police raid family home

Read more: ‘It feels so surreal’: Maine massacre victims named as families pay tribute to loved ones killed in gunman's rampage

Robert Card, a US Army reservist, was identified as the suspected gunman.
Robert Card, a US Army reservist, was identified as the suspected gunman. Picture: Alamy

A shelter-in-place order remains in effect in four nearby cities as the suspect, confirmed to be a US Army reservist, has been described as “armed and dangerous”.

No clear date has been set for when the lockdown will end.

Mr Sauschuck said they are still “days away” from completing investigations after the police received 530 tips overnight from the public.

"We are continuing to check those things off the list as we go,” he said.

“I would expect that we're still days away from completing those particular investigations, those particular crime scenes.”

Asked if they were concerned the trail was growing cold, Police Chief David St. Pierre said: "Every minute that this goes on we're more and more concerned."

It comes after officers and FBI agents raided a house belonging to the Card family on Thursday night, but did not find him there.

Suspected gunman Robert Card remains at large.
Suspected gunman Robert Card remains at large. Picture: Alamy
Robert Card remains at large.
Robert Card remains at large. Picture: Alamy

Card “could still be in the area" or have moved anywhere in the country, a mass shooting response expert said - and he could be planning another attack.

"He could still be in that area, planning to have a shootout with police, planning to commit suicide, planning to commit another attack. Or, you know what, he could be in Texas right now. We have no idea,” former police officer Marko Galbreath said.

Card is suspected of carrying out the shootings at Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant and bowling alley Just-In-Time Recreation on Wednesday night at just after 7pm local time.

Seven people were killed at Just-In-Time Recreation, with eight dying at Schemengees Bar and Grille. Three people died after being taken to hospital.

Card should not be approached "under any circumstances", Maine Governor Janet Mills said. He faces eight counts of murder.

Law enforcement officers raided homes belonging to Card's father and brother in Bowdoin, a town about 30 minutes' drive from Lewiston. Card is thought to live very close to his family. Officers are not thought to have found him there.

Card is thought to have suffered some kind of mental health episode earlier this year, having started hearing voices and threatened to shoot up a military base. He spent two weeks in a mental health treatment facility this summer.

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