In response to two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that resulted in “multiple casualties,” authorities launched a manhunt for a man who is regarded as a “person of interest” on Wednesday night.
Sources: Getty Images
At a news conference on Wednesday night, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck stated that 40-year-old Robert Card of Bowdoin, Maine, should be taken seriously as armed and dangerous. He also mentioned that his automobile had been discovered in the nearby town of Lisbon.
While acknowledging that there had been multiple casualties, Sauschuck refused to provide the overall number of those killed or injured, stating that the numbers “are all over the map.” According to Sauschuck, the shootings started at 6:56 p.m. ET.
The Lewiston Police Department published what looked to be a photo of Card’s driver’s license on Facebook. He looks to be the same individual that was captured on camera entering a bowling alley while sporting an AR-style long gun and a brown sweater, according to a previous image made public by the police.
According to the department, if anybody knows more about his whereabouts, they should get in touch with the police.
Androscoggin County, Maine, is still under a shelter-in-place order while investigators look for the person who may have been responsible for the gunshots on Wednesday. A directive to stay indoors with doors closed had previously been issued by the police, who cited a “manhunt in the area.”
According to a Facebook post, the Maine State Police also extended their Thursday morning school closures and shelter-in-place recommendation to the town of Bowdoin.
In response to a “mass casualty, mass shooter event,” the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston says it has been responding and is working with nearby hospitals to accept patients.
According to Lewiston police, the manhunt’s target has ties to gunshots that have occurred at least twice, at the Schemengees Bar and Grille and the bowling alley Sparetime Recreation. Which location was targeted initially is unknown. Additionally, it is unknown how many rounds were fired at each location.
On their Facebook page, Schemengees Bar and Grille wrote, “My heart is broken. I don’t know what to say. Your entire world abruptly turns upside down for no apparent reason. In this community, great people pass away. What meaning is this supposed to have for us? Right now, I’m praying for everyone.
In a statement, Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline said, “I am saddened for our community and its citizens.” Lewiston is known for its strength and perseverance, and we shall need both in the days to come.”
To make it easier for emergency personnel to get to hospitals, the police department has issued a warning to the public about driving. In Maine, there are hundreds of police officers, according to Sauschuck.
In preparation for possible patient transfers, Maine Medical Center, a Portland-based hospital system, has informed its on-call personnel and increased its critical care and operating room capacity.
The group went on, “At this time, MMC can confirm it will receive one patient transport from Central Maine Medical Center,” in an email statement sent to local media. In addition, other MaineHealth facilities are ready and waiting to offer care. Owing to the unstable state of affairs and due to prudence, MMC and other MaineHealth hospitals have temporarily barred visitors and non-hospital personnel from their campuses.”
The city of Lewiston announced on Facebook that all of its public facilities will be closed on Thursday. “This includes Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon Street, City Hall, 27 Pine Street, and the Armory, 65 Central Avenue,” said the advertisement. Tomorrow’s scheduled programs, festivities, and early voting at City Hall have been canceled. Tomorrow, non-emergency workers should also remain at home.”
All of the Lewiston Public Schools’ classes will be canceled tomorrow, according to the superintendent.
In a statement uploaded to the school system’s website, Superintendent Jake Langlais mentioned, among other things, that “there remain a lot of unknowns at this time”. Fast-moving information is not always reliable, though. Please either stay put or find another safe location.”
According to the White House, President Biden has spoken with Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, Rep. Jared Golden, and Maine Gov. Janet Mills, among other elected officials, and has been updated on the shooting. According to the statement, Biden has extended “full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack.”
Additionally, a Justice Department official said, “The Attorney General has been notified and will closely monitor the situation. Our state and local law enforcement partners in Lewiston, Maine are receiving assistance from federal law enforcement agencies.
At over 40,000 residents, Lewiston is the second-biggest city in Maine and is located about 40 miles away from Portland. Over the years, Lewiston, a former mill town, has had financial difficulties. The population of the city is diversified and includes a substantial French Canadian population in addition to a large number of immigrants from Somalia.
Maine saw 29 homicides in total in 2022, with 15 of those being domestic instances.
At 10:30 a.m. ET, there will be a law enforcement news briefing at Lewiston City Hall.