LEWISTON, Maine (NewsNation) — A manhunt remains underway for a gunman who opened fire at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston on Wednesday, killing 18 people and injuring 13 more, according to Maine Gov. Janet Mills.
As investigators work to find suspect Robert Card, law enforcement officers swarmed a home Thursday night in Bowdoin. NewsNation crews on the scene said investigators announced demands over a speaker like “Robert Card, come outside with your hands up!” and “Robert, you are under arrest. Come out of the house. Hands in the air!”
The Maine Department of Public Safety said law enforcement was at a home on Meadow Road in Bowdoin as part of the shootings investigation and that officials were executing “several search warrants.”
“The announcements that are being heard over a loud speaker are standard search warrant announcements when executing a warrant to ensure the safety of all involved,” a public information officer with the Maine Department of Public Safety said. “It is unknown whether Robert Card is in any of the homes law enforcement will search. Law enforcement officials are simply doing their due diligence by tracking down every lead in an effort to locate and apprehend Card.”
The police presence at the home began to thin out around 9:30 p.m. ET, and no arrests were made.
As the manhunt continues, officials said at least 80 FBI agents are in the area participating in the search.
On Thursday afternoon, Maine State Police expanded a shelter-in-place order to include Androscoggin County and northern Sagadahoc County. Police advised residents to make sure their homes and vehicles were secure. Lewiston County Public Schools also announced there would be no class Friday due to the shelter-in-place order, buildings would not be open, and buses would not run. An earlier advisory covered the towns of Lewiston and Bowdoin.
Lewiston Police Chief Dave St. Pierre asked members of the public to remain cautious of their safety as the gunman remains at large.
“It’s a little bit frightening to know that he’s out there and his intent is to hurt and kill people,” resident Lori Perricone told NewsNation. “It’s a little bit scary to think that this guy could be in this state and live amongst us for quite some time and we’re not even going to know it.”
Schools in Lewiston were to remain closed Friday, while those in Portland would decide in the morning whether to open. Bates College in Lewiston also cancelled classes Friday and postponed the inauguration of the school’s first Black president.
The Lewiston Police Department said it is looking for 40-year-old Card as a suspect and warned he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Authorities ordered residents and business owners to stay inside and off the streets.
The Maine State Police have taken over the investigation as a homicide investigation. Maine State Police Col. William Ross provided a timeline of events at a news conference Thursday.
Police asked anyone with any information about Card or the shootings to contact law enforcement.
At approximately 6:55 p.m. ET Wednesday, police received 911 calls of an active shooter at two Maine establishments: Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-in-Time Recreation.
The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office released two photos on its Facebook page showing a gunman walking into the bowling alley with a weapon raised to his shoulder.
According to eyewitness Kenny Moore, the gunman’s AR-style weapon allegedly jammed at the bowling alley, and the shooter fled the facility shortly after.
Ross confirmed seven people were killed at Just-in-Time Recreation (six males and one female), eight people were killed at Schemengees Bar and Grille (seven males inside and one male outside), and three victims died at the hospital.
Eight of the deceased have been identified, Ross said. The victims’ ages have yet to be released.
Dr. John Alexander, chief medical officer at Central Maine Hospital, said the first patient arrived at 7:24 p.m. ET Wednesday. The hospital received a total of 14 patients. Of the 14, eight were admitted, three died, two were discharged, one was transferred to Maine Medical Center, and one was transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Of the eight admitted to Central Maine Hospital, five victims are stable, and three are in critical condition. Alexander did not release any information on the victims’ injuries, ages or genders.
Approximately 100 off-duty hospital staff came in to help in the emergency department.
Ross said there is an arrest warrant out for Card on eight counts of murder. It is only eight at the moment, because 10 victims have yet to be identified. Once those individuals are identified, the counts of murder will increase to 18.
According to information from Maine State Police’s Maine Information and Analysis Center (MIAC), Card was trained as a firearms instructor at a U.S. Army Reserve training facility in the state.
He recently reported mental health issues including hearing voices and threatened to shoot up the military training facility, according to a Maine State Police bulletin. He was also reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer of 2023.
Investigators said they are looking into why the suspect was allowed to own a weapon with his mental health history.