"Tragedy in Maine: Manhunt Underway for Suspect Robert Card in Devastating Mass Shooting"
A manhunt is currently in progress following a harrowing mass shooting in Maine, claiming the lives of at least 18 individuals and injuring 13 others. The tragic incident unfolded at two locations in Lewiston on Wednesday evening, namely a bowling alley hosting a children's league and a local bar, as confirmed by officials.
The Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office released a photo of the suspected gunman, 40-year-old U.S. Army reservist Robert Card, brandishing a semi-automatic rifle at one of the crime scenes. Law enforcement discovered Card's abandoned white Subaru in Lisbon, several miles southeast of Lewiston, late Wednesday, retrieving a firearm from the vehicle. The weapon is currently undergoing testing to determine its involvement in the shooting.
Crucially, the abandoned car played a pivotal role in directing law enforcement's focus towards Card, according to multiple officials. Investigative developments revealed a note at Card's residence on Thursday, addressed to his son and characterized as a suicide note containing both rantings and personal information, including bank account details.
Card's family is cooperating with authorities, and his sister suggested that he may have been searching for an ex-girlfriend at the shooting locations, potentially linking the incident to a domestic dispute. Notably, Card had a previous marriage, and his ex-wife filed for divorce in 2007, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce order was later amended in 2013 to include shared parental rights of their child, primarily residing with the mother.
Further insights into the suspect's online activity revealed interactions with conspiratorial content, covering topics such as financial crises, LGBTQ+ issues, gun rights, and commentary on Democratic public officials, including President Joe Biden. As the investigation unfolds, authorities are exploring whether the tragedy originated from a domestic dispute, shedding light on the complex and troubling background of Robert Card.
"Unraveling the Suspect's Digital Trail: Investigating Robert Card's Online Activity and Disturbing History"
Between January and March, Robert Card's online activity, marked by his "likes," reveals a disturbing engagement with posts covering a spectrum of controversial topics. The posts include discussions on classified documents supposedly found at President Biden's home, calls for the abolition of the IRS, allegations of election fraud by Democrats in 2020, and various COVID-19 conspiracies, according to available information.
As investigators delve into the suspect's writings and history of psychiatric problems, a comprehensive profile is emerging. Card, a U.S. Army reservist since December 2002 with the current rank of sergeant first class and a role as a petroleum supply specialist, has not been deployed in combat. However, recent revelations suggest that he exhibited erratic behavior during a deployment over the summer with his Army Reserve Unit to Camp Smith Training Center in upstate New York. Concerns about his safety prompted the unit to request law enforcement intervention on July 17, leading to his transport to Keller Army Community Hospital at the U.S. Military Academy for a medical evaluation.
During this incident, Card allegedly made threats of violence against fellow soldiers, necessitating a "command-directed" visit to the hospital, as reported by a source familiar with the matter. New York State Police deployed armed troopers at the entrances to Camp Smith to enhance security. Notably, Card was not assigned to West Point as an instructor, and records indicate no interaction with cadets during the summer training. An Army spokesperson confirmed that Card did not serve as a firearms instructor and was not trained for such a role.
The unfolding investigation into Robert Card's online presence and behavioral history raises significant questions about the intersection of digital extremism, mental health concerns, and military service. As authorities piece together these complex elements, the focus intensifies on understanding the factors that may have contributed to the tragic events in Maine.
"We regard incidents of this nature with utmost seriousness, and our primary objective is to ensure that all necessary legal measures are taken in line with our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of conduct among our Soldiers and civilian personnel," stated Bryce Dubee. He emphasized the organization's dedication to collaboration with and support for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in addressing the situation.
Card's military service accolades, including the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon, underscore his prior contributions within the military. However, an arrest warrant now looms over Card, implicating him in eight counts of murder for identified victims, with plans to update the warrant as the remaining 10 victims are recognized.
While Maine officials have yet to disclose a potential motive, they acknowledged inquiries into Card's mental health during a press briefing on Thursday. Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck asserted that a comprehensive review of this information will be conducted in due course, though specifics were not provided at the time.
As the active search for the suspect continues, authorities caution the public about Card, deeming him armed and dangerous. Maine Governor Janet Mills emphasized, "Police advise that Maine people should not approach him under any circumstances" during the press briefing. The ongoing investigation unfolds against the backdrop of a complex and evolving situation, with contributions to this report from ABC News' Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky, and Luke Barr.
In conclusion, the unfolding tragedy in Maine surrounding suspect Robert Card has prompted a swift and serious response from military and law enforcement authorities. Bryce Dubee's statement underscores the commitment to upholding the highest standards of conduct within the military, with collaboration and support pledged to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
Card's military service awards, now juxtaposed with an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder, paint a complex picture of a serviceman who has allegedly committed heinous acts. The ongoing investigation refrains from revealing a motive at this time, focusing instead on inquiries into Card's mental health. The active search for the armed and dangerous suspect is a pressing concern, as emphasized by Maine Governor Janet Mills, who urges the public not to approach him under any circumstances.
As the situation continues to develop, the multi-faceted investigation involves considerations of digital extremism, mental health concerns, and military service, adding layers of complexity to an already tragic event. The collaborative efforts of various agencies underscore a commitment to justice and public safety in the face of this devastating incident. Contributions from ABC News' Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky, and Luke Barr highlight the comprehensive coverage and ongoing efforts to understand the circumstances surrounding this heartbreaking event in Maine.