Lewiston, The Gulf Observer: The Army reservist who opened fire in a bowling alley and then at a bar in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 people, was found dead Friday from a self-inflicted gunshot, ending an intensive two-day search that had the state on edge.
Robert Card, a firearms instructor who grew up in the area, was found dead in nearby Lisbon Falls, Gov. Janet Mills said at a Friday night news conference.
“Like many people I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” Mills said.
Commissioner of Maine Department of Public Safety Mike Sauschuck said Card was found at 7:45 p.m. near the Androscoggin River, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) southeast of where the second shooting occurred Wednesday evening. He declined to divulge the location but an official told The Associated Press the body was at a recycling center from which Card recently was fired.
The official was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to on condition of anonymity.
Leo Madden, who said he ran Maine Recycling Corp. for decades, said Card had worked there for a couple of years but said he couldn’t recall the dates and didn’t know if Card was “fired or didn’t show up.”
“He was a good employee,” Madden told the AP, adding that nothing about the man stood out to him while he was an employee.
Mills said she had called President Joe Biden to alert him that Card was dead.
“Tonight we’re grateful that Lewiston and surrounding communities are safe after spending excruciating days hiding in their homes,” Biden said in a statement. He added that “Americans should not have to live like this” and called on Congress to take action on gun violence.
Card, 40, of Bowdoin, Maine, was a U.S. Army reservist who underwent a mental health evaluation in mid-July after he began acting erratically during training, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
Card had been sought since the Wednesday night shootings, and murder warrants were issued against him.
The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf said the shootings killed at least four members of their community, many of whom were ardent advocates for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The attacks stunned a state of only 1.3 million people that has one of the country’s lowest homicide rates: 29 killings in all of 2022. Mills said Friday that many Maine residents will know someone who died.
Schools, public buildings and many businesses had remained closed Friday. Bates College in Lewiston canceled classes and postponed the inauguration of the school’s first Black president.
Authorities had banned hunting in several communities, in a state where it is immensely popular. However, following confirmation of Card’s death, a public safety alert was issued that announced: “The search is over for Mr. Card. The caution is over. Hunting may resume.”
The shootings mark the 36th mass killing in the United States this year, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.