Updated Oct 28, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Maine suspect found dead after deadliest U.S. shooting of 2023

Police officers block traffic after shooting suspect Robert Card was found dead in Lisbon, Maine, on October 27, 2023.

Police officers block traffic after the suspect was found dead in Lisbon, Maine, on Oct. 27, 2023. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Investigators have found the body of the person suspected of perpetrating dual mass shootings that left 18 dead and more than a dozen injured in Maine, officials confirmed Friday night.

The latest: Police found Robert Card, 40, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 7:45 pm Friday, officials said. The discovery ended a two-day manhunt that followed the deadliest U.S. mass shooting so far this year.

  • Investigators found Card's body in a trailer about 10 miles from the city of Lewiston, where the shootings took place, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said at a press briefing Saturday morning.
  • The trailer was in an overflow parking lot at a recycling facility, Sauschuck said.
  • The 18 people who were killed, ranging from ages 14 to 76, were identified by state authorities Friday.

The big picture: The shootings led to lockdowns in surrounding communities as both local and federal authorities combed through hundreds of tips and searched around the clock for Card, a U.S. Army reservist.

  • On Friday, Card's vehicle was found near a boat launch, prompting plans to search the nearby Androscoggin River.
  • Sauschuck said Saturday that investigators found two firearms at the scene of Card's body, and that a third firearm was found in his vehicle.

Zoom in: "I think clearly, there's a mental health component to this," Sauschuck said when asked about a potential motive, but said he wasn't aware of Card having been "forcibly committed" to treatment previously and that authorities continue to investigate.

  • He noted that the "vast majority" of people with a mental health diagnosis do not become violent toward others or themselves.
  • He also said Card's family had been "incredibly cooperative" in the investigation.

Background: Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday evening posted to Facebook images of a suspect carrying what looked like a semiautomatic rifle following the shootings at Schemengees Bar and a bowling alley known as Sparetime Recreation, but recently renamed Just-In-Time Recreation.

  • President Biden was briefed on the situation and offered federal assistance to Maine's governor, per a White House statement.
  • The FBI's Boston division, which covers Maine, was also investigating the shooting.

Details: "Police have confirmed that there were seven people killed at Sparetime Recreation, and eight people killed at Schemengees Bar and Grille," per a Maine State Police statement Thursday.

  • Three others died in Central Maine Medical Hospital in Lewiston after being transported for treatment, according to the statement.
An armed police officer guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, early on Thursday.
An armed police officer guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, early on Thursday. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
  • The City of Lewiston in a Facebook post on Wednesday just before midnight ET urged all non-emergency personnel to "stay at home," and said that all municipal buildings would close, and programs and events were canceled.
  • The superintendent of Lewiston Public Schools announced in a post to X earlier Wednesday evening that schools in the city of over 38,000 residents would not open on Thursday. They remained closed Friday.
A screenshot of a tweet by the Lewiston, Maine, school district superintendent, saying: "No School for Lewiston Public Schools Friday October 27, 2023. We remain in a shelter in place situation. We will not open buildings or run bus transportation. If we receive updated information we will update everyone as we are able to."
Photo: Jake Langlais, superintendent of Lewiston Public Schools/X
  • School districts beyond the locked down counties also shut in Maine Thursday, including Portland and Augusta.
  • All Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches in Maine closed Thursday, and all government offices in Lewiston and Auburn were shut Friday amid the police search.

Go deeper: U.S. surpasses 500 mass shootings in 2023

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional developments throughout.

Axios' April Rubin contributed reporting.

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