October 31, 2023
Eighteen people were killed and 13 injured during a mass shooting in Maine on October 25, 2023.
The shooting started at the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley minutes before 7pm, followed by the nearby Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant several minutes later.
An unidentified man who appeared to be in his late thirties or early forties stormed the building armed with a semi-automatic rifle and open-fired during a youth league event that was taking place inside the bowling alley.
Police were quickly called to the scene and appeared just a few minutes later, by which time the active shooter had already moved on to the next location. Emergency responders tended to the injured, recording seven dead in the attack.
The shooter left a further eight victims dead at Schemengees Bar & Grille, and three injured patrons were later pronounced dead at the hospital they were rushed to, bringing the dead to a total of eighteen.
The shooter was later identified as forty-year-old Robert Russell Card II, a worker at a recycling centre in Lisbon, who had resided in Bowdoin, Maine for most of his life. Card was a sergeant first class for the United States Army Reserves where he served as a petroleum supply specialist. He enlisted in late 2002 but had not seen any action.
He had no criminal history other than a handful of misdemeanours for speeding, as well as a DUI in the mid-2000s.
He was married and had a son, but divorced in 2007.
Several months before the shooting, Card had allegedly been struggling with mental health issues and acting out of character. He told a family member that he had been hearing taunting voices in his head and had made threats of gun violence towards a military base in York County. Those around him started to become concerned with his behavior after he was deployed to Camp Smith Training Center in Cortlandt, N.Y. He was reported out of concern and consequently spent a stint in an army hospital in West Point. The outcome of the assessment is not public knowledge, however information reported by various media outlets detail that Card had been visiting several anti-government websites online in the leadup to the shooting.
Still images of Card entering the bowling alley were released to the public, as well as a description of his vehicle, a Subaru Outback, and his firearm. Civilians, although at this point well aware, were warned that he was armed and dangerous, and not to approach him.
Later that night, Card’s Subaru Outback was found abandoned by the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lewiston, near the Androscoggin River, not far from the recycling plant where he worked, however, Card did not appear to be at or near the scene. The recycling plant and surrounding area was searched by police, but they could not find any trace of the shooter.
Investigators speculated whether or not Card could have fled by boat, as he did have one registered to him, as well as a water bike, or whether the location was just a red herring.
Two days later, Robert Card’s body was found in a trailer in an overflow carpark, near the recycling plant that had been missed in the previous searches. He died by his own hand, from a self-inflicted gun wound, and various firearms were found at the scene. Card had left behind a note addressed to a family member, containing details to his bank account as well as the passcode to unlock his cell phone.
The Lewiston shooting came just six months after the Bowdoin-Yarmouth shooting that occurred in Maine in April of 2023.
The victims include:
Thomas Conrad, 34, father, Just-in-time recreation manager, and ex-military who attempted to wrestle the shooter to the ground. Bill Young, 44, and his grandson, Aaron Young, 14, who were attending the Youth League night. Also killed at the Bowling alley was Tricia Asselin, 53, mother and athlete who was shot while calling for help, Robert Violette, 76, whose wife, Lucy was wounded, were Michael Deslauriers Jr., 51, and Jason Walker, 51,
Peyton Brewer-Ross, 40, a local pipefitter, Ronald Morin, 55, a father and beloved family member, Joshua Seal, 36, father and one of four participants in the Cornhole for the Deaf tournament who lost their lives at Schemengees Bar & Grille that night, Stephen Vozzella, 45, a father, husband and postal worker who was also participating in the Cornhole for the Deaf tournament along with Bryan MacFarlane and Billy Brackett , Arthur Strout, 42, a husband and father who was playing pool at Schemengees Bar that night, and Maxx Hathaway, a husband and a father with a new baby on the way.
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