A frantic manhunt remains underway for a suspect in shootings that left at least 18 people dead and 13 others injured in Maine on Wednesday night.
Authorities have named Robert Card, 40, as the suspect in the shooting spree at a Lewiston restaurant and a nearby bowling alley that was hosting children.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” Maine State Police Col. William G. Ross said at a news conference Thursday. “Based on our investigation, we believe this is someone who should not be approached. If you come into any contact with this individual or someone that you think looks like this individual, you are to call 911.”
Follow live coverage of the shootings
Here’s what we know about how the shootings unfolded based on a timeline authorities provided:
The first 911 call came in to the Auburn communications center at 6:56 p.m. Wednesday about a male shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley in Lewiston, Ross said.
Multiple calls came into the communications center about an “active shooter” inside Schemengees Bar and Grille, about 4 miles away from Just-In-Time, also in Lewiston, according to police.
“A large law enforcement response from multiple surrounding agencies assisted the Lewiston Police Department in trying to identify who this individual was and what was happening,” Ross told reporters. “As you can imagine, this was a very fast-paced, fast-moving, very fluid scene. A very dangerous scene.”
Maine State Police issued an alert warning of the “active shooter situation” and warning residents to shelter in place with their doors locked.
Around the same time, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office shared photos of a man armed with a rifle who was wearing a brown sweater and blue pants.
Police in Lewiston, Maine’s second-biggest city, warned the public on social media that they were dealing with an “active shooter incident” at Schemengees and Just-in-Time Recreation.
Jason Levesque, the mayor of Auburn, said on NBC’s “TODAY” show Thursday morning that the bowling alley was hosting a youth event Wednesday night.
The city of Auburn, which neighbors Lewiston, issued an alert.
“ALL Auburn & Lewiston residents are strongly urged to shelter in place, lock all doors & report suspicious individuals and activities to 9-1-1,” the alert said. “Most businesses in the area have closed/are closing.”
Central Maine Medical Center, a health care complex in Lewiston, said it was reacting to “a mass casualty, mass shooter event,” but did not share specifics about the number of casualties.
Lewiston police released a photo of a vehicle — a white SUV with a front bumper that may have been painted black — and asked the public to call police if they recognized it.
Lewiston police received a call identifying the man in the distributed photos as Card.
Lisbon police notified Lewiston police that officers had located a white Subaru at the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lisbon. It was identified as belonging to Card.
Lewiston police officially identified Card as a person of interest at 10:52 p.m., sharing his photo on Facebook and saying: “CARD should be considered armed and dangerous. Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts.”
State Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said Card is from Bowdoin.
6:15 a.m. Thursday
State police said they were expanding the shelter-in-place advisory and school closings to include the town of Bowdoin, noting that more than 100 investigators, both local and federal, were working to locate Card.
Law enforcement in Maine issued a “BOLO,” or “Be on the Look Out,” notice for Card.
A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, described Card as a trained firearms instructor believed to be in the Army Reserve out of Saco, Maine.
It added that law enforcement said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.” The bulletin said he was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this summer and then released. NBC News has not been able to independently verify the bulletin’s statements about Card’s history.
The Army confirmed that Card is part of the Army Reserve. He enlisted in December 2002, serves as a petroleum supply specialist and had no combat deployments.
10:30 a.m. Thursday
At the news briefing about the manhunt, authorities officially named Card a as suspect in the shootings, saying an arrest warrant had been issued charging him with at least eight counts of murder.
The counts were based on the identifications of eight of the 18 people who were killed, Ross said. The 10 remaining victims have not been identified, he added.
Ross said that seven of the victims were found at Just-In-Time Recreation and eight were found at Schemengees and that three people transferred to area hospitals were pronounced dead.
The shootings came as a shock to many in the state, which has a long history of gun ownership and hunting culture that counted just 29 homicides for all of 2022.
Maine, however, lacks what some consider basic gun safety laws. It does not require background checks for all gun sales and does not have “red flag” or extreme risk laws, which allow judges to temporarily remove people’s access to guns if there is evidence they pose serious risks to others or themselves. Furthermore, the state does not ban high-capacity magazines or require permits to carry concealed guns.
More than 350 law enforcement personnel are involved in the search for the suspect, including authorities from state and national agencies.
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