Live Updates | Lewiston schools to close as police search for mass shooting suspect

Politics

The death toll in the shooting at a Maine bowling alley and a restaurant has risen to 18 people killed, according to Gov. Janet Mills. Another 13 were injured.

A police officer stands at a road closure near a bowling alley, seen in background, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine. The site is one of Wednesday’s two mass shootings in the city. Residents have been ordered to shelter in place as police continue to search for the suspect. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) AP

At least 18 people were killed in shootings at a restaurant and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday night, sparking a massive search for the suspect. Late Thursday, heavily armed law enforcement backed by a police helicopter had surrounded a home and told anyone who might be inside to surrender, but authorities eventually left without indicating anyone had been taken into custody.

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We don’t know for sure. Follow for live updates.

— Authorities are searching towns, forests and waterways for the suspect.

— Here’s what we know about the suspect and where the shooting happened.

— Social media posts spread an incorrect photo of the Maine suspect.

— Maine passed a law to try to prevent mass shootings, but some say more is needed.

— The shooting is the 36th mass killing in the United States this year.

Lewiston Public Schools will be closed again on Friday, according to a post by Superintendent Jake Langlais on the district’s website.

“We remain in a shelter in place situation,” the post said. “We will not open buildings or run bus transportation.”

The superintendent said students and staff have been directly impacted by the shooting and the events since 7 p.m. Wednesday are “unimaginable.”

School officials in Maine’s largest city of Portland will decide by 5 a.m. Friday whether to open based on information received from police, according to a post on the district’s website.

Most of the law enforcement officers and a helicopter that surrounded a home connected to a relative of the suspect in the Maine shootings have left after executing a search warrant and calling for anyone inside to surrender.

Officers had yelled through a megaphone at the home near Bowdoin, Maine, for suspect Robert Card or anyone inside to “Come out with your hands up.”

Maine State Police said afterward that the announcements were standard.

“It is unknown whether Robert Card is in any of the homes law enforcement will search,” the statement posted on Facebook said.

Richard Goddard, who lives on the road where the searches were taking place in Bowdoin, said he knows the Card family and that Robert knows the terrain well.

“This is is his stomping ground. He grew up here. He knows every ledge to hide behind, every thicket,” he said.

Heavily armed officers surrounding a home where relatives of the suspect in the Maine shootings live near Bowdoin, Maine, are calling for a person or people inside to surrender.

Law enforcement officers asked TV crews to turn off their lights nearby before officers could be heard yelling into a megaphone shortly after 7 p.m.

“You need to come outside now with nothing in your hands. Your hands in the air,” officers shouted outside the home owned by suspect Robert Card’s relatives.

Officers were speaking through the megaphone, waiting, then speaking again. At one point, officers said they could guarantee safety if the person or people walked outside the house.

Several FBI agents and other heavily armed officers gathered off a road where several relatives of shootings suspect Robert Card live near Bowdoin, Maine.

A military-style vehicle and a white van arrived and moments later someone repeatedly yelled, “FBI! Open the door!”

Loud booms could be heard a few seconds apart as helicopters circled overhead. Nearby, several armed police officers stood on alert in the back of a pickup truck.

Eight people injured in the Maine shootings remained hospitalized at Central Maine Medial Center on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Hospital officials said five of the patients are in stable condition and three are critical. The hospital has not released the ages of the patients. All of the patients had been identified by late afternoon, said Dr. John Alexander, the chief medical officer.

Alexander said the hospital is not used to dealing with this level of emergency care, but the staff was trained for it.

“It’s unprecedented in terms of the severity of the injuries and the tragedy to the community,” he said.

Authorities have been searching both on land and water for the suspect in Wednesday’s shootings in Maine that killed 18 people.

The Coast Guard sent out a patrol boat Thursday morning along the Kennebec River. But after hours of searching, authorities found “nothing out of the ordinary,” said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Smith, who is in charge of the Coast Guard’s Boothbay Harbor Station.

The suspect’s car had been discovered by a boat launch near the Androscoggin River, which connects to the Kennebec, and his 15-foot (4.5-meter) boat remains unaccounted for, Smith said.

But he added that officials didn’t have any specific intelligence that the suspect, Robert Card, might have escaped aboard his boat. “We’re just doing our due diligence,” he said.

Standing outsider her Lewiston home Thursday while police searched for the suspect in the Maine shootings, April Stevens cried as she described being frustrated and worried.

Stevens, who lives close to the scene of the shootings, said she knew someone who was killed at the bar and another person who was injured and needed surgery.

“We’re praying for everyone. We’re just hoping everyone gets through this, that the people who are injured recover safely,” she said. “Our hearts go out to all of those who didn’t make it.”

Stevens said she was working from home Thursday while authorities continued their search for the suspect. She said she locked her doors and turned on her home’s outside lights Wednesday night in case the shooter was nearby.

“We’re just here to support our friends if they need us. If they need a hug — they need anything — we’re here,” she said.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Canada Border Services Agency has issued an “armed and dangerous” alert to its officers stationed along the Canada-U.S. border, warning them to be on the lookout for the man suspected of fatally shooting at least 18 people in southern Maine.

The shootings were reported Wednesday night in Lewiston, about 260 kilometers (161 miles) southwest of the New Brunswick border. As a massive search continued Thursday for suspect Robert Card, residents of southern Maine were told to lock their doors and remain inside.

The CBSA says it is working with Canadian and U.S. law enforcement partners, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to “protect Canada’s borders against any threat or attempt at illegal entry.”

The Canadian border agency said that all entry points along the Canada-U.S. border remain open.

State lawmakers in Maine, which has one of the country’s lowest homicide rates, called the mass shootings that killed at least 18 people a tragedy and urged unity in the face of crisis.

State Rep. Mana Abdi of Lewiston, the first Somali American elected to the Maine Legislature, and fellow Democratic Reps. Margaret Craven and Michel Lajoie said in a joint statement that they were “committed to ensuring that a tragedy like this will never happen to another community ever again.”

“We are deeply thankful to all of the first responders, law enforcement and hospital staff who responded swiftly, and will continue to keep all of our neighbors, families and friends who have been affected in our hearts,” they said.

Republican state Rep. Laurel Libby, who represents nearby Auburn, said the community was in shock and the loss the state is facing is “just unfathomable.” Libby also said this was not the time to talk about the state’s gun culture.

“We’re already seeing our community really rallying together in support. I know that same spirit will carry us on through, but it’s really not a time for guessing at motives at this point and pointing fingers,” Libby said.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday urged residents of the area where police are searching for the suspect in the Maine mass shootings to heed the warning of local law enforcement.

“For countless Americans who have survived gun violence and been traumatized by it, a shooting such as this reopens deep and painful wounds,” he said in a statement, adding that he and first lady Jill Biden were praying for the families of the victims. “Far too many Americans have now had a family member killed or injured as a result of gun violence. That is not normal, and we cannot accept it.”

Biden once again called for the passage of a ban of so-called assault weapons. The president also ordered flags at half-staff to honor the victims of the shooting.

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Army reservist suspected of killing at least 18 people in Maine had been taken by police for an evaluation after military officials became concerned that he was acting erratically in mid-July, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.

The official said commanders in the Army Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment became concerned in mid-July that Robert Card was acting erratically while the unit was training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.

The official said military commanders became concerned about Card’s safety and asked for the police to be called. New York state police took Card to the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point for evaluation, the official said.

The official was not authorized to publicly discuss information about the incident and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

— Associated Press writer Lolita Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

An arrest warrant for eight counts of murder has been issued for the suspect in the shootings at a Maine bowling alley and a restaurant, according to state police.

As more victims are identified, the counts against suspect Robert Card will probably grow to 18, Maine State Police Col. William Ross said.

Police responded to a “very fast moving, very dangerous scene,” Ross said, noting that seven people were found dead at the bowling alley and eight at the bar, including one victim who was outside. All had gunshot wounds. Three people who were taken to hospitals also died, Ross said.

The death toll in the shooting at a Maine bowling alley and a restaurant has risen to 18 people killed, according to Gov. Janet Mills. Another 13 were injured in the shootings Wednesday night, she said.

Mills said law enforcement is still searching for shooting suspect Robert Card, who is considered armed and dangerous.

The governor warned that people should not approach Card under any circumstances. She asked people to call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

The “full weight” of her administration is behind the law enforcement effort to capture Card and hold whoever is responsible accountable and seek justice for the victims and their families, Mills said.

“We cannot and we will not rest in this endeavor,” Mills said.

Diana Florence said her son, a sophomore at Bates College in Lewiston, stayed in his dorm with his roommate with the blinds closed.

Her daughter is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which was locked down twice last month, once when a professor was killed and again two weeks later when a man brandished a gun in the student union building.

“I could not believe it — that this is happening again. It’s happening to my son after it just happened to my daughter,” she said in a phone interview Thursday.

Florence, of New York, said she and her son spoke and texted late into the night and he was shaken up but OK. Meanwhile, she was left angry.

“I think this is about our laws, frankly. That we cannot seem to pass any sort of sensible gun laws or attack mental health in the way we should,” she said. “And our kids are paying the price. And even if they’re not killed or injured, the trauma that is going to linger long past the semester is palpable.”

Originally posted 2023-10-26 21:42:31.


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