In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Lewiston, a city in Maine, became the site of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting this year. The horrific incident unfolded at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille, leaving a community in mourning. Here’s a closer look at the details of the tragedy:
The Shooter and His Apparent Suicide
The alleged shooter, Robert R. Card Jr., 40, was the center of a massive manhunt that spanned southern Maine for two days. The pursuit came to a grim end when Card was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday night. His actions left 18 people dead and 13 others injured, making this incident the deadliest mass shooting in the United States in the current year.
The Timeline of the Shooting
The shootings began around 7 p.m. on Wednesday when an unidentified gunman opened fire at Just-In-Time Recreation, causing panic and chaos. Within minutes, there were reports of another shooting at Schemengees Bar & Grille, which was a mere 12-minute drive from the bowling alley. The rapid succession of events left the community traumatized.
By 8 p.m., law enforcement officials released photos of the armed suspect, urging residents to stay inside their homes with doors locked. Neighboring city Auburn also issued a shelter-in-place order as a precaution. By 9:15 p.m., the Lewiston police released images of the vehicle they were searching for – a small white car with a potentially black-painted front bumper.
Identification of the Suspect
Around 11 p.m., the police identified Robert R. Card Jr. of Bowdoin, Maine, as a person of interest in the shootings. He was described as “armed and dangerous,” intensifying concerns among the public.
Community Impact and Shelter-in-Place Orders
As the manhunt continued, the Maine State Police expanded the shelter-in-place advisory, affecting not only Lewiston but also Bowdoin, a town located about 15 miles away. Educational institutions, including Bates College, Lewiston Public Schools, and neighboring school districts, canceled classes on Thursday to ensure the safety of students and staff.
The Tragic End of the Search
The shelter-in-place order was lifted on Friday as the authorities relentlessly searched for the suspect. Law enforcement officers combed through four towns in the region, placing hunting restrictions to aid in the search. Tragically, the Maine State Police discovered Robert R. Card Jr.’s lifeless body in Lisbon Falls around 7:45 p.m. The discovery marked the end of the manhunt and the days of fear and uncertainty for the community.
Remembering the Victims
The toll of this devastating incident is immense, with seven lives lost at the bowling alley, eight at the bar, and three succumbing to their injuries at the hospital. Col. William G. Ross of the Maine State Police provided this grim count. Eight of the 18 victims have been identified so far, spanning a wide age range from a 14-year-old to a 76-year-old, according to an official from the state medical examiner’s office.
Lewiston, Maine, and the nation now grapple with the aftermath of this horrifying event, mourning the lives lost and seeking answers and solace in the face of this unprecedented tragedy.