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Lewiston, Maine: Tragic Shooting Incident Leaves Up to 22 Dead, Manhunt Underway for Suspect

At the break of dawn on October 26, 2023, a vigilant armed police officer stands watch at the ambulance entrance of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, as an extensive manhunt intensifies for 40-year-old Robert Card, a person of interest as identified by officials.
At the break of dawn on October 26, 2023, a vigilant armed police officer stands watch at the ambulance entrance of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, as an extensive manhunt intensifies for 40-year-old Robert Card, a person of interest as identified by officials.

Lewiston, Maine: A profound tragedy unfolded, marked by a substantial shooting incident that is believed to have claimed the lives of up to 22 individuals. Presently, an intense manhunt is in progress, with the objective being a person designated as a “person of interest” in connection with the two grim episodes in Lewiston, Maine. These incidents, as reported by officials, have resulted in “multiple casualties.”

During a press conference held on a Wednesday night, Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner, Mike Sauschuck, emphatically stated that 40-year-old Robert Card, hailing from Bowdoin, Maine, is to be considered both armed and perilous. Furthermore, authorities have located his vehicle in the nearby town of Lisbon.

While Sauschuck confirmed the occurrence of multiple casualties, he refrained from disclosing precise numbers, remarking that the figures “fluctuate greatly.” He revealed that the sequence of shootings commenced at 6:56 p.m. ET.

In a Facebook communiqué, the Lewiston Police Department disseminated a photograph that appears to be Robert Card’s driver’s license image. This image corresponds with the individual captured in surveillance footage, dressed in a brown sweatshirt and brandishing an AR-style long firearm, as he entered a bowling alley, as was previously revealed by law enforcement.

The public is earnestly urged to contact the authorities if they possess any information pertinent to Card’s whereabouts. 

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As the search for the suspect involved in Wednesday’s incidents continues, a shelter-in-place directive remains in effect for Androscoggin County, Maine. Law enforcement had previously instructed residents to remain indoors with secured doors, citing the existence of a “manhunt in the area.”

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Subsequently, the Maine State Police decided to extend their shelter-in-place advisory and also announced the closure of schools in the town of Bowdoin on Thursday morning, as indicated in a statement via Facebook.

Lewiston’s Central Maine Medical Center has reported its response to a “mass casualty, mass shooter event,” coordinating with nearby healthcare facilities to accommodate affected patients.

According to Lewiston police, the individual at the center of the manhunt is associated with shootings in at least two separate locations, including Schemengees Bar and Grille, as well as Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley. The sequence of events leading to these attacks remains unclear, and the number of rounds discharged at each location remains undisclosed.

Schemengees Bar and Grille shared a poignant message on their Facebook page: “My heart is shattered. I find myself at a loss for words. Instantly, lives in our community were irrevocably disrupted without cause. We have lost remarkable members of our community. How can we make sense of this tragedy? Our thoughts and prayers extend to all those affected.”

Lewiston’s Mayor, Carl Sheline, expressed his sorrow, stating, “I am deeply grieved for our city and our people. Lewiston is renowned for its resilience and determination, qualities we will undoubtedly require in the future.”

To facilitate the efforts of emergency responders, the police department has requested that citizens stay off the roadways. Commissioner Sauschuck revealed the extensive presence of police officers operating throughout the state of Maine.

Maine Medical Center, located in Portland, has alerted its on-call staff and established additional capacity within critical care units and operating rooms, preparing for the possible transfer of patients. They have also temporarily restricted access to their campuses for individuals not affiliated with the hospital or requiring medical care.

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A Facebook statement issued by the city of Lewiston announced the closure of all municipal buildings on Thursday. This includes City Hall, located at 27 Pine Street, the Lewiston Public Library at 200 Lisbon Street, and the Armory at 65 Central Avenue. Activities, events, and early voting at City Hall have been canceled for the following day. Non-essential personnel are advised to remain at home.

The Superintendent of Lewiston Public Schools has declared the cancellation of all classes on the upcoming day. Superintendent Jake Langlais emphasized the existence of numerous uncertainties surrounding the situation and urged residents to either shelter in place or seek safety.

The White House has confirmed that President Biden has been briefed on the incident and engaged in discussions with various Maine government officials, including Governor Janet Mills, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Representative Jared Golden. The President has extended his offer of “complete federal assistance in response to this appalling attack.”

Furthermore, a spokesperson from the Justice Department conveyed that the Attorney General has been apprised of the situation and will maintain vigilant oversight. Federal law enforcement agencies are actively collaborating with local law enforcement in Lewiston, Maine.

Lewiston, Maine, the state’s second-largest city, boasting a population of approximately 40,000 residents, is situated about 40 miles from Portland. It is a former mill town that has faced economic hardships over the years. Notably, the city possesses a diverse demographic, with a significant influx of immigrants from Somalia and a sizable French Canadian population.

In 2022, the entire state of Maine witnessed a total of 29 homicides, with 15 of these classified as domestic cases.

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A law enforcement news briefing is anticipated at 10:30 a.m. ET within Lewiston City Hall.

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