In Lewiston, Maine, a terrible incident took place on Wednesday. A man started shooting at a bar and a bowling alley, resulting in the loss of at least 22 lives and causing injuries to many others. Hundreds of police officers were deployed to search for the person, and residents were instructed to stay indoors to stay safe.
A police intelligence bulletin identified a person named Robert Card as the person of interest. Card had received firearms training at a U.S. Army Reserve training facility in Maine. The document mentioned that he had spent two weeks in a mental health facility during the summer of 2023, although it didn’t provide specific details about his treatment or condition. The document also stated that Card had reported hearing voices and had made threats about carrying out a shooting at a military training base in Saco, Maine. However, a listed telephone number for Card was not working.
The Lewiston Police first alerted the public on Facebook about an active shooter situation at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley located about 4 miles away from each other. The shooting began shortly before 7 p.m.
Michael Sauschuck, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, did not provide a specific estimate, as the situation was still unfolding. Dozens of people were wounded, and the authorities were working tirelessly to provide aid.
Central Maine Medical Center’s website reported that they were dealing with a mass casualty incident involving a mass shooter. They were coordinating with nearby hospitals to care for the injured. The hospital was in lockdown, with armed police guarding the entrances. Hospitals in Portland, located about 35 miles away, were also prepared to receive victims.
The shelter-in-place order was extended to include Lisbon, approximately 8 miles away, after a “vehicle of interest” was found there.
One bar owner, Melinda Small of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, took quick action to protect her customers and staff when news of the shooting emerged. The police ensured their safe evacuation.
The city was placed on high alert shortly after 8 p.m., as law enforcement agencies were investigating “two active shooter events.” The public was advised to avoid the affected areas and follow instructions from local officials.
President Joe Biden offered federal support to the state and its officials in the aftermath of this terrible incident.