Maine mass shooting suspect found dead after two-day manhunt

The man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 in a shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, has been found dead after a two-day manhunt, authorities announced on Friday.

“Maine state police have located the body of Robert Card in Lisbon. He is dead,” announced state Governor Janet Mills in a press conference, adding she had notified President Joe Biden.

Card, 40, was found dead around 7.45 pm local time (00:45 GMT) with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound near the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls, Maine Commissioner for Public Safety Michael Sauschuck said in the same press conference.

The army reservist who had a history of mental illness and was committed to a psychiatric facility for two weeks this summer, was the only suspect in the shooting spree inside a bowling alley and a bar on Wednesday.

American media reported that the body as found in the woods near Lisbon, about 13 kilometers from Lewiston, in an area near the recycling center from which he had been recently fired.

The commissioner said that before making the news public, the families of the 18 killed were notified, as well as that of the suspect who also “lost a loved one in this scenario.”

Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office had also reported on Facebook that “the suspect in Wednesday nights shootings has been located and is deceased.”

The discovery puts an end to two days of fear in Lewiston and neighboring communities, where residents were told to shelter in place while the manhunt continued.

It also brought an end to an intensive search by air, land and water in which hundreds of local and state police officers, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), participated.

The suspect hadn’t been seen since authorities posted screengrabs of him on social media on Wednesday – in which he appeared to be carrying an assault rifle – and asked the public to share any information about his possible whereabouts.

His car was found the night of the incident at a boat ramp in Lisbon, prompting a search focused on the river using divers, underwater robots and sonar equipment.

“Like many people, I am breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone … Now is the time to heal,” Gov. Mills said.

Biden late Friday issued a statement saying it “has been a tragic two days – not just for Lewiston, Maine, but for our entire country.”

“Once again, an American community and American families have been devastated by gun violence. In all, at least eighteen souls brutally slain, more injured, some critically, and scores of family and friends praying and experiencing trauma no one ever wants to imagine.”

He once again called on “Republicans in Congress” to tighten gun laws.

“Americans should not have to live like this,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Maine State Police published the names of the 18 victims of the shootings, including a teenager and his father and four deaf people.

The event shocked Maine’s second city of Lewiston, a city of about 38,000 residents, and is the deadliest US shooting so far this year. EFE

By Ch Fahad Khan Janda