Maine shooting as it happened: Police hunt gunman after 18 killed

26 October 2023, 07:40 | Updated: 26 October 2023, 18:12

Police are hunting a gunman in Maine
Police are hunting a gunman in Maine. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

A total of 18 people have been killed and dozens of others injured in shootings in the US city of Lewiston, Maine.

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The shootings happened on Wednesday evening at a bar and bowling alley in the city.

Eight out of the 18 victims have been identified so far.

The man identified as a person of interest in the mass killing is Robert Card, 40, who is a firearms instructor trained by the military.

He was recently committed to a mental health facility, according to a state police bulletin.

The city of about 38,000 has been out into lockdown - businesses have been told to shut and people have been instructed to stay at home.

Officials were unable to answer questions about the suspect's motive and why he chose those locations.

Mike Sauschuck from Maine's Department of Public Safety said officials will answer more questions in the coming days.

Scroll down for today's updates

Key Updates:

  • 18 people have been killed in shootings in Lewiston, Maine - Read More
  • Police have named Robert Card, 40, as a person of interest, warning he is "armed and dangerous"
  • Hundreds of police officers across the state are involved in the manhunt
  • The small city has been put on lockdown - businesses have been told to close and people told to stay at home
  • The shootings happened in at least two locations - a restaurant and a bowling alley

End of the press conference

Sauschuck ends the press conference by saying that liaison officers are working with family members to identify the remaining victims at a reunification centre opened last night. 

Officials say they will not take further questions.

Sauschuck says more questions will be answered in the coming days.

Gunman's motives still unknown

Sauschuck does not answer questions regarding the gunman's motive and why the locations were chosen to carry out the attack.

He later says that helicopters will be "very, very valuable" assets in the search for the gunman.

Officials 'can't answer' concerns about gunman's mental health issues

Mike Sauschuck from Maine's department of Public Safety answers questions from reporters.

One journalist asks whether the suspect, Robert Card, does have mental health issues as reported.

Sauschuck says the line of inquiry is valid but says it is not something "that we can answer today."

The FBI joins search for the gunman

FBI special agent Jodi Cohen says the Bureau is working to support local police officers.

"My pledge is that the FBI will carry out this investigative case with rigour," she says.

"We'll work day and night... to get the answers to these questions."

'Police at all levels of the state' are searching for the gunman

Colonel Ross ends his speech by confirming that police officers at all levels in Maine are involved in the large-scale search for the gunman.

He acknowledges that people in the state are going through a very difficult time. 

Eight out of 18 victims identified by police

Colonel Ross says eight of the victims who died have been identified, but 10 have yet to be.

He also says the police found the suspected gunman's car during the search for the man

Police give more details about the 18 people killed

Colonel William Ross from the state police confirmed the locations of the people who were killed.

Seven people were killed at the bowling alley - one female and six male.

Eight people were killed at the restaurant - seven males inside the building and one outside.

Three people died in hospital.

The apparent causes of death of all the victims are gunshot wounds.

Timeline of events during the attack

Colonel William Ross from Maine State Police says the investigation is in its early stages but he is able to provide a timeline of events.

  • Around 18:56 local time, the police received a  report of an active shooter at a recreation centre in Lewiston
  • Around 19:08 local time, multiple people rang  the police to report an active shooter

He said the police responded quickly and faced a "very fluid, very dangerous" scene.

Police operating with 'all hands on deck' to catch gunman

Chief of police in Lewiston David St Pierre says the mass shooting is a "tragedy beyond comprehension." 

He asked the public to be mindful of one another.

He says the police are employing an "all hands on deck approach" as they search for the gunman

Governor says Maine residents are "strong and resilient"

Governor Mills said in the press conference that "this attack strikes at the heart of what we hold dear."

She promised that the residents of Maine "will heal together",  as they are "strong and resilient".

"We will need to call on these qualities more than ever before," she added.

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