Robert R. Card II was found dead Friday after a manhunt that lasted roughly two days.
Card, 40, was the suspect in the mass shootings in Lewiston that left 18 people dead and 13 injured at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-In-Time Recreation on Wednesday.
Card was found by a Lisbon recycling center where he used to work in the same clothes he had on during the shootings on Wednesday, according to U.S. Sen. Angus King, who initially told the Bangor Daily News that the suspect died after being told by Gov. Janet Mills.
Card’s body was found by police at 7:45 p.m., of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said at a Friday night news conference at Lewiston City Hall. Police didn’t immediately release information because they wanted to alert the families of victims. They also let Card’s family know after many helped them investigate.
“Like many people, I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” Mills said. “I know there are some people, many people, who share that sentiment but I also know that his death may not bring solace to many.
Capital Avenue, the road approaching Lisbon’s transfer station, was blocked by police at 9:15 p.m. The facility is about a mile from the boat launch where Card’s car was found Wednesday night.
During the days Card was on the run, police searched across Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties, from Lewiston to a Lisbon boat launch to Durham and his family home in Bowdoin. Divers also searched the Androscoggin River and hundreds of acres of family-owned property.
Residents had to shelter-in-place for nearly 48 hours after the shootings as the manhunt for Card continued. Police lifted the order late Friday afternoon.
“I don’t want to forget the families that are grieving and continuing to grieve,” Lewiston Police Chief David St. Pierre said. “We’re going to grieve for the families that lost loved ones here. We’re going to continue to work. We’re going to continue to persevere.”
Around 60 percent of mass shooters don’t make it out of the shooting alive, James Alan Fox previously told the Bangor Daily News. He is a sociology professor at Northeastern who helped compile a database of mass killings in the U.S. from 2006 to today. It usually takes less than 24 hours to catch shooters who escape the scene, Fox said previously.
“I am forever grateful to all the law enforcement officials that worked tirelessly to find the gunman,” Ralph Brewer, brother of Peyton Brewer-Ross, who was killed playing cornhole with friends at Schemengees. “Maine can breathe again [and] let the healing truly begin.”
Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland – Friday, Oct. 27, 2023
“This evening, law enforcement recovered the body of Robert Card, the suspect in the horrific mass shooting in Lewiston on Wednesday evening. I want to thank our state and local law enforcement partners, along with the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals, and other federal agencies who have been working day and night to locate the shooter and keep the affected communities safe.
Although we are grateful that the suspect in this case no longer poses a threat, we know that nothing can bring back the lives he stole or undo the terror he inflicted.
The FBI will continue to provide victim support resources to those who have been devastated by this attack, and the entire Justice Department will provide ongoing support to our state and local law enforcement partners.
As I said yesterday, no community should have to endure these mass shootings which have become routine in our country.”
BDN reporters Sawyer Loftus, Julia Bayly and Troy R. Bennett contributed reporting.