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

27 October 2023, 06:02 | Updated: 27 October 2023, 06:17

Robert Card is still on the loose
Robert Card is still on the loose. Picture: Lewiston Police Department/Getty

By Kit Heren

The Maine gunman who killed 18 people in a rampage at a bowling alley and bar is still at large more than 24 hours on.

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Police launched a huge manhunt for Robert Card, 40, after identifying him as the suspected gunman in the attacks in the small town of Lewiston.

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

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

Former police officer Marko Galbreath said: "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.

Law enforcement are seen outside the home of Robert Card's father and brother
Law enforcement are seen outside the home of Robert Card's father and brother. Picture: Getty

"If he planned it out well enough, he could very well be far from that area right now," he told MailOnline.

"We need to tell the entire country that until this guy is captured, we need to use due diligence.'

He added: "He could have shaved, he could have put on a wig, he may change his appearance. He he may not look like what people think he looks like, so we need to really watch."

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.

His car was later found abandoned in the nearby town of Lisbon.

Bob Violette was the first victim publicly identified.
Bob Violette was the first victim publicly identified. Picture: Handout

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.

He is said to have left a suicide note at the site of one of the shootings, although it did not give a motive for the shootings.

US authorities continue work to identify the 18 victims of what has been described as America’s deadliest shooting this year. Reports suggest 14 have been identified so far.

Law enforcement are seen outside the home of Robert Card's father and brother
Law enforcement are seen outside the home of Robert Card's father and brother. Picture: Getty

Bob Violette, 76, was the first victim of the Maine massacre to be publicly identified.

Mr Violette, a bowling instructor, was teaching youngsters at Sparetime Recreation when the gunman launched his rampage.

His daughter confirmed he was killed in the shooting, alongside 17 others. He was reportedly killed while trying to protect the children he was instructing.

Tricia Asselin, 53, who worked at the bowling alley was named as the second confirmed victim.

Bryan MacFarlane, 40, who was part of the local deaf community, was playing cornhole with his friends, was also confirmed dead, his sister confirmed.

Arthur Strout, 41, and Ron Morin were also confirmed dead by family and friends, as well as Peyton Brewer-Ross, 40, and Steve Vozzella, 45.

Joshua Seal was named as another of the victims.

Read more: Inside the Maine bowling alley massacre: Survivors hid between pins and machines as gunman killed 18 people

Read more: First victim of Maine massacre identified as hero dad, 76, killed 'protecting children at bowling alley where he taught'

The gunman is thought to be Robert Card, a US Army reserve.
The gunman is thought to be Robert Card, a US Army reserve. Picture: Alamy

Mr Seal’s wife, Elizabeth, confirmed his death in a Facebook post.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you all that Joshua Seal has passed away… no, he was murdered, in the 10/25 shooting in Lewiston. It still feels surreal," she wrote.

Father and teenage son, Bill and Aaron Young, were identified as two victims. The pair were shot at Just-In-Time Recreation while on a night out with their bowling league, according to Reuters.

While Joseph Walker, the bar manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille, which was targeted by the gunman, was also named as a victim.

Senator Susan Collins led a press conference on Thursday evening.
Senator Susan Collins led a press conference on Thursday evening. Picture: Alamy

Earlier on Thursday evening, investigators carrying out a search of Card’s home reported finding a note, according to NBC News.

Investigators are reportedly still working to determine the meaning of the cryptic note but did not reveal any further details of its contents.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday evening, Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline told residents of Lewiston and nearby areas: “Please stay at home and be safe.”

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