48-hour hunt followed most lethal episode of gun violence in state's history
The man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 in a shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, was found dead on Friday, ending a 48-hour manhunt that followed the most lethal episode of gun violence in the state's history.
The body of Robert Card, 40, was discovered in the woods near the neighbouring town of Lisbon, where police found his abandoned vehicle shortly after the shootings on Wednesday night.
"He is dead," Maine Gov. Janet Mills told a news conference, thanking the hundreds of officers from various agencies involved in the search.
"Like many people, I am breathing a sign of relief tonight, knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone…. Now is the time to heal," Mills said.
Card died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Commissioner Mike Sauschuck of Maine's Department of Public Safety.
Officials said the U.S. army reservist opened fire in a bowling alley and then a bar minutes later on Wednesday night.
The shootings and prolonged manhunt convulsed the normally bustling but serene community of Lewiston, a former textile hub and the second-most populous city in Maine.
The town lies on the banks of the Androscoggin River about 56 kilometres north of the state's largest city, Portland, and nearly as far southwest of Maine's capital, Augusta.
Card, from the neighbouring town of Bowdoin, has been described by authorities as a trained firearms instructor who served as a petroleum supply specialist when on duty at the military reserve base in Saco, Maine.
Law enforcement officials also said he has a history of mental illness and was committed to a psychiatric facility for two weeks this summer, after which he was released.
Within hours of Wednesday night's bloodshed, police circulated surveillance camera photos from one of the crime scenes of a bearded man wearing a brown, hooded sweatshirt and jeans carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle.
Meanwhile, hundreds of officers from an array of agencies ranging from local police and sheriff's deputies to the FBI and U.S. coast guard joined the search. Canadian authorities, including its border officers, were on alert.
The initial trail of clues led to Lisbon, about 11 kilometres to the southeast, where Maine State Police found a white SUV they believed Card used to make his getaway parked at a boat launch on the river. Public records showed he owned at least one vessel made by Sea-Doo, a company known for its jet ski-style personal watercraft.
As part of the search, police trawled the waters of the Androscoggin River with divers and sonar on Friday, and sent teams of officers door-to-door in neighbourhood canvasses seeking additional clues and possible eyewitnesses.
Earlier on Friday, Maine State Police lifted an order that had kept tens of thousands of people in their homes while the search continued.
Maine mass shooting suspect found dead
4 hours ago
Featured VideoThe man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 others in a shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, was found dead Friday, according to police. His body was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, ending a 48-hour manhunt as residents sheltered in place.
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