Maine mass shooting: Manhunt back on for suspect after cops serve search warrant at home

40-year-old Robert Card should be considered armed and dangerous, police say

ByEmily Shapiro, Aaron Katersky, Josh Margolin, and Ivan Pereira ABCNews logo
Friday, October 27, 2023
Manhunt intensifies for Maine mass shooting suspect
Dan Krauth has the latest as the massive manhunt continues for Maine mass shooting suspect Robert Card.

LEWISTON, Maine -- Authorities surrounded a Maine home on Thursday in their search for a U.S. Army reservist who authorities say killed 18 people and wounded 13 in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and a bar.

Find our latest updates on the Maine mass shooting here | Authorities continue to search for Maine mass shooting suspect

A convoy of armored police vehicles lined the road near a home in Bowdoin, around 7 p.m. ET.

"Robert Card, you're under arrest. Come out now," officers yelled through a megaphone. "Drop everything and come outside...If anyone is in the residence, walk outside and walk to the front of the driveway."

Shannon Moss, a spokeswoman for the Maine State Police, said in a statement officers were conducting a search warrant.

"It is unknown whether Robert Card is in any of the homes law enforcement will search. Law enforcement officials are simply doing their due diligence by tracking down every lead in an effort to locate and apprehend Card," she said.

A note that was found inside Card's home earlier in the afternoon is being described as a suicide note addressed to the suspect's son, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation told ABC News.

The sources said the note does not provide information that indicates a motive for the mass shooting.

Maine officials gave an update Thursday morning on a deadly mass shooting.

On Friday morning, Maine officials held a press conference, in which they said officials are processing over 500 leads and tips.

They also explained the process of their search, and said they would be putting divers in a nearby body of water to look for Card.

Canadian Border Services Agency issued an "armed and dangerous" alert to its officers stationed along the Canada-U.S. border Thursday, warning them to be on the lookout for the Maine shooting suspect.

Maine held a press conference where Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, a Marine Corps veteran who lives in Lewiston, called on Congress to ban assault rifles like the weapon allegedly used in the mass attack.

"I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war like the assault rifle [Card] used to carry out this crime," Golden said. "The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States congress to ban assault rifles."

Golden voted against a ban just last year.

"Humility is called for as accountability is sought by victims of a tragedy such as this one," he said.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins did not go that far, saying it's "more important that we ban very high-capacity magazines."

The family of the mass shooting suspect is cooperating with authorities, law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation told ABC News.

The family is laying out an account of a deeply troubled person, the sources said, bolstering earlier accounts of mental health treatment, voices in his head and alleged threats to shoot up a National Guard facility.

Information provided to law enforcement shows that the suspect appears to have "interacted with conspiratorial content" online.

Card appeared to engage with political content.

Card's sister told investigators she thought Card might have been looking for an ex-girlfriend at the shooting locations: a bowling alley and a bar, the sources said.

An arrest warrant for Card has been issued for eight counts of murder, police said.

Investigators recovered a firearm in Card's abandoned vehicle when it was found late Wednesday, multiple law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

Authorities are testing and tracing the gun to determine if it was involved in the shooting, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

Card may have access to other firearms and authorities are treating him as though he is armed and dangerous, sources tell ABC News.

More than 350 law enforcement personnel are involved in the search.

Evidence response teams are already on the ground, processing the "very extensive scenes" where the shootings took place, FBI Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen said.

In these early stages, investigators are probing potential mental health issues Card may have had, and how he was in possession of a weapon.

Dan Krauth reports from the scene in Maine.

A motive has also not been determined.

"I think those are all valid questions and certainly questions that we are looking into now, but not questions that we can answer today," Commissioner of Maine's Department of Public Safety Mike Sauschuck said.

Three people are in critical condition and five others are in stable condition, according to Dr. John Alexander, chief medical officer at Central Maine Health Care.

Two patients have been transported to other hospitals and two others have been discharged, he said.

SEE ALSO: What we know about the Maine mass shooting victims

Officials are also expanding a shelter-in-place advisory, as well as school closings.

"Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal work to locate Robert Card who is a person of interest in the Lewiston shootings," Maine State Police posted on social media.

Bates College, a liberal arts school in Lewiston, Maine, remains on lockdown with students ordered to shelter in place as the manhunt for the mass shooter intensifies.

The shooting unfolded in two locations: a bowling alley where a children's league was taking place and a local bar, officials said.

Police responded to at least two locations in the state's second-largest city.

"There are multiple scenes in the city, to include multiple hospitals. A lot of witnesses we are speaking with," said Mike Sauschuck, with Maine Department of Public Safety.

Authorities say Card has a history of military services, is a firearms instructor and was treated at a mental-health facility over the summer after allegedly saying that he was hearing voices.

Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office

The Army has confirmed that Card has been an Army Reservist since December 2002. His current rank is as a sergeant first class and his job is a petroleum supply specialist.

"If people see him, they should not approach Card or not make contact with him in any way," Sauschuck urged.

The first call came in around 7 p.m. from a bowling alley that was hosting a "youth night" for a kids' bowling league.

RELATED: 'Very scared': Terrifying moments after mass shooting at Maine bowling alley

One witness said she heard a loud bang before her father -- a retired cop -- corralled her and her family into a corner.

"I was laying on top of my daughter. My mother was laying on top of me," Riley Dumont said.

Dumont was bowling with her 11-year-old daughter when she heard several shots. During the chaos, she said she saw three or four bodies on the ground.

Police said during the Thursday news conference that there were six male victims and one female victim killed there.

In a statement, the bowling alley said, "We are devastated for our community and our staff. We lost some amazing and whole hearted people from our bowling family and community last night."

The second shooting scene was at a local bar and restaurant about 4 miles from the bowling alley.

RELATED: A list of mass killings, active shooter incidents in the United States since January

Police said there were eight male victims fatally shot at the second location, seven inside and one outside.

Three victims died in hospitals.

More than three hundred local, state, and federal law enforcement officers have been searching for suspect Robert Card in Lewiston, Maine following Wednesday night's shootings.

Card is now on the run, triggering a shelter-in-place order in Lewiston, as well as in neighboring Lisbon, Maine, where police say they found a white Subaru that is believed to be owned by Card. The car was seen with the door open and lights on.

Sources say hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement are assisting in this active investigation. Police as far south as New Hampshire are setting up roadblocks in an effort to confine Card in case he's on the run.

Authorities have also released surveillance images showing the gunman at one of the shooting locations.

Maine officials said they are looking for Robert Card, who they says is a person of interest in connection with a Lewiston mass shooting.

"It looks like, to me, an AR15 or some version of it," said ABC News contributor and former FBI agent, Brad Garrett. "Looks like to me he has some kind of extended magazine. Some of which you can shoot 25-30 rounds on a standard magazine."

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been briefed.

Biden said in a statement Thursday, "Once again, our nation is in mourning after yet another senseless and tragic mass shooting."

He said he's "praying for the Americans who've lost their lives, for those still in critical care, and for the families, survivors, and community members enduring shock and grief."

"Far too many Americans have now had a family member killed or injured as a result of gun violence. That is not normal, and we cannot accept it," Biden said.

He said, while the nation has made progress on gun reform with "the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the two dozen executive actions I've taken, and the establishment of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, it's simply not enough."

TAKE ACTION | Preparing your family for an active shooting situation

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"Far too many Americans have now had a family member killed or injured as a result of gun violence. That is not normal, and we cannot accept it," Biden said.

He said, while the nation has made progress on gun reform with "the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the two dozen executive actions I've taken, and the establishment of the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, it's simply not enough."

Biden said he's urging Republicans in Congress to "work with us to pass a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, to require safe storage of guns, and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers."

"This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars -- physical and mental -- of this latest attack," he said.

The White House has lowered the flag on the roof to half-staff in the aftermath of the shooting.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement, "I am heartbroken for those who have lost loved ones, for those who have been injured, and for the entire Lewiston community.

"The FBI, ATF, and U.S. Marshals are on the ground to provide investigative support and victims assistance services to our law enforcement partners in Maine.

"We stand ready to provide any support that our state and local partners need.

"No community should have to endure the horrific mass shootings that have become routine in our country."

Lewiston is a relatively small city of 36,000 people, which experts say could be an advantage to investigators.

"I think it really increases the odds that someone knows who this shooter is because you're gonna probably have survivors at each location, I presume, so with that, you can start tracking this guy," Garrett said.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills released a statement urging all people in the area to follow the directions of state and local law enforcement.