NYPD proactive, vigilant amid search for Maine shooter

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, October 26, 2023
NYPD on alert for Maine shooting suspect
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N.J. Burkett reports as the NYPD continues to ramp up their security efforts across the city.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD is on high alert in case the suspect wanted in the mass shooting in Maine makes his way to the Tri-State area.

While there is no evidence that suspect Robert Card is coming this way, it's already a precarious time with special teams of counter-terrorism officers already flooding the streets because of rising tensions in the Middle East.

Mayor Eric Adams called a news conference Thursday morning to discuss safety in New York City amid the active search for the mass shooting suspect.

Adams was joined by Police Commissioner Edward Caban and other NYPD leaders at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

All expressed solidarity with, and compassion for, those dealing with the situation in Lewiston, Maine, in which 18 people were killed Wednesday night by a suspect identified as 40-year-old Card.

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

NYPD officials said while Card does not appear to have any connections to the New York City area, and while there is no immediate credible threat here, they remain vigilant nonetheless.

Within hours of the rampage, every police officer in New York City had the suspect's photo. It was transmitted urgently to their NYPD smartphones on orders of the commissioner.

Caban said since news of the shooting broke Wednesday night, the NYPD has been working to make sure city residents stay safe and coordinating with police in Maine to offer assistance.

The NYPD has dispatched detectives to Lewiston, Maine, "to get information as quickly as possible and to offer any support in any way we could."

"We are quite confident at this point that this horrific crime has no nexus to New York City," NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Rebecca Weiner said.

"We can't speculate, obviously, as to any motivation. But we don't see any indications at this moment, from our perspective here in New York City, of any political or ideological leaning," she added.

Late Thursday afternoon, officials continued to believe that he would not surface in New York, but police patrols were ramped up at all major chokepoints into the city including the Verrazano, the Midtown and Battery Tunnels and the 59th Street Bridge. Other officers were posted at transportation terminals, like Grand Central and Penn Station. Officers in the subway system were ordered to scrutinize riders.

"Police officers will be deployed to high sensitive locations throughout the day," said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell. "This is out of an abundance of caution. Our aviation units will be staggered throughout the day to keep a continuous flight up, to make sure if anything happens we are ready to go. This is precautionary. As the deputy commissioner mentioned, there is no direct threat to New York City."

Both Adams and Caban noted that increased vigilance following the incident in Maine also comes at a time of increased tensions in many parts of the city over the war in Israel and Gaza.

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