US police confirm 18 dead and 13 wounded in double shooting in Maine

The governor of Maine, Janet Mills, confirmed Thursday that 18 people were killed and 13 others wounded in a double shooting Wednesday night in Lewiston. The shooter is still at large.

Some media had initially reported that 22 people were killed in the attack, whose alleged perpetrator has been identified as Robert Card, a military reservist who is being sought by hundreds of agents.

The city of Lewiston, in the northeastern United States, and several nearby towns were placed on lockdown as the 40-year-old suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

The first shooting occurred at about 18:56 local time (22:56 GMT) on Wednesday at a bowling alley. Minutes later, the second shooting occurred at a bar and restaurant located 12 minutes away by car.

The bowling alley that was attacked was hosting a youth competition that night, but local authorities have not released the ages of the victims.

Seven people died at the bowling alley, eight at the bar, and three others after being taken to the hospital.

The chief medical officer of the Central Maine Health Center, John Alexander, told a news conference that of the eight injured people still at his facility, which is not the only one to have received victims, five are in stable condition and three others are in critical condition.

One hundred health care workers who were off duty Wednesday went to work to help their colleagues, and blood supplies are adequate for now, Alexander said.

The local community has been asked to heed the order to shelter in place, and classes have been canceled for Thursday.

Local law enforcement officials have not provided many details about the situation. All efforts are focused on the search for the suspect, who may have already crossed into another state.

The homicide investigation is in its early stages, Maine State Police Col. William Ross told a news conference.

Card currently faces eight murder charges because that is the number of victims already identified, but the number is expected to match the number of deaths.

A car belonging to the suspect was found in Lisbon, about 12 kilometers from Lewiston.

The Department of Justice confirmed that agents from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Marshals Service are assisting local authorities in the investigation and search for the suspect, as well as providing support to the victims.

Lewiston, with a population of 40,000, is the second largest city in the state after Portland. EFE

By Ch Fahad Khan Janda