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Lewiston, Maine, mass shootings: What we know so far about what happened and the suspect

Heavily armed police in armored vehicles leave Lisbon High School at daybreak as they search for the mass shooting in Lewiston.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Eighteen people were shot and killed at a restaurant and at a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, Wednesday evening, according to Maine Governor Janet Mills. Thirteen more were wounded.

Eight of the victims have been identified. Officials did not disclose the names or ages of any victims at a press conference Thursday morning.

Maine State Police have issued shelter-in-place advisories for residents of several communities in the region, urging them to stay in their homes while authorities search for the gunman, who remains at large. Many schools, several colleges, and area businesses have also closed.


Who are officials searching for?

Robert Card, 40, of Bowdoin, has been charged with murder in connection with the mass shootings. Thursday morning, officials announced they have issued an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder.

Card was identified on Wednesday as a person of interest in the attacks. A vehicle associated with Card was located in Lisbon that evening.

Maine State Police Colonel William G. Ross said Thursday he expects the number of counts to increase once more victims have been identified. Card is considered “armed and dangerous.”

No members of the public should approach Card, Ross said.

Maine governor, local public safety officials hold press conference on Lewiston shootings
Maine officials held a press conference at Lewiston City Hall on Thursday morning concerning the shootings that took place in the city Wednesday night.

What do we know about suspect Robert Card?

Card has been in the US Army Reserve for nearly 21 years and he is currently assigned as petroleum supply specialist, the Army said Thursday. His family appears to have deep roots in central Maine, specifically the small town of Bowdoin.

Card holds the rank of sergeant first class and has an active duty military identification card that grants him access to military facilities in Maine. He also appeared to be somewhat active on X, formerly known as Twitter, following and liking content from those including Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump.

Read more about Card here.


When did the shootings take place?

The shootings took place Wednesday evening at Schemengees Bar and Grille and at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley that police initially identified as Sparetime Recreation, a few miles away in Lewiston.

Around 6:56 p.m. Wednesday, Ross said, the Auburn Communication Center received a 911 call reporting a “male shooting” inside the bowling alley. Then at 7:08 p.m., the communication center received multiple 911 calls about an “active shooter” inside the bar, he said.

“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 said. “This was a very fast-paced, fast moving, very fluid scene, very dangerous scene.”

Local, county, state, and federal resources responded, include FBI agents from the Boston field office.

What areas in Maine are under shelter-in-place advisories?

Maine State Police said a shelter-in-place order is in effect across Auburn, Lewiston, Lisbon, and Bowdoin.

Where are schools closed? What colleges are closed?

These schools are closed in Maine on Thursday:

  • Lewiston
  • Auburn
  • Bowdoin
  • Lisbon
  • Brunswick
  • Cumberland
  • Yarmouth
  • Cape Elizabeth
  • Portland
  • Biddeford
  • Sanford
  • Saco
  • Westbrook
  • Acton
  • Augusta
  • Fayette
  • Gorham
  • Scarborough
  • South Portland
  • Vassalboro
  • Winthrop
  • Winslow
  • Waterville

These colleges are closed in Maine:

  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Central Maine Community College
  • Maine College of Health Professions
  • Maine College of Art
  • University of Maine — Augusta
  • University of Maine — Orono
  • University of Maine — Machias
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine
  • York County Community College

All municipal buildings in Lewiston are closed Thursday. Areas business have also closed for the day.

Where is Lewiston, Maine?

The shootings took place in the city of Lewiston, which is located halfway between Portland and the state capital of Augusta. The population in 2020 was estimated to be 37,121, according to US Census figures.

What happens next?

Maine Governor Janet Mills vowed that authorities will seek justice for the victims, saying that the full weight of her administration “is behind law enforcement efforts to capture the person of interest, Robert Card, to hold whoever’s responsible for this atrocity accountable under the full force of state and federal law.”


Mills said she has spoken with President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and a number of federal officials about the shootings. Federal, state, county, and local law enforcement are working together to locate Card and “bring him to justice.”

Jodi Cohen, the special agent in charge of the FBI Boston division, which covers the state of Maine, said the FBI is investigating alongside law enforcement partners.

Massachusetts State Police will continue to “monitor all available intelligence and will update our local law enforcement partners and the public of any developments that affect our state,” said spokesman David Procopio. The department is prepared to “provide additional mutual aid,” he added.

Ross urged tipsters to provide State Police with any information about Card or his whereabouts by phone at either 207-213-9526 or 207-509-9002.

Material from other Globe stories was used in this report.

Shannon Larson can be reached at Follow her @shannonlarson98. Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.