Biden and first lady to visit Lewiston in wake of mass shooting that killed 18

The president will meet with families, community members and first responders and pay respects to the victims of the ‘horrific attack’ in Maine last week

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 02 November 2023 00:12 GMT
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Kamala Harris addresses Maine mass shooting

President Joe Biden and Firs t LadyJill Biden will visit Lewiston, Maine, in the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 18 people in the city last week, the White House has said.

The president will meet with families, community members and first responders and “pay respects” to the victims of the “horrific attack”.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to the city on Friday, one week after the body of suspect Robert Card was found by authorities.

“The President and First Lady will pay respects to the victims of this horrific attack and grieve with families and community members, as well as meet with first responders, nurses, and others on the front lines of the response,” the statement read.

18 people died and 13 more were injured in the mass shootings in Maine last week

It comes after Maine Governor Janet Mills said she had invited the president to visit the city, in order to comfort those affected by the tragedy.

“We’ve seen him appear in such circumstances and offer not only a helping hand, but a very sympathetic ear,” she said according to Maine Public.

“He’s a very comforting person and he’s able to offer that comfort and support to any families who wish to see him and meet with him.”

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not confirm whether or not Mr Biden will accept the invitaion. “We are we are appreciative of the Governor of Maine inviting the president to to visit,” she said.

In addition to the 18 victimes, 13 others were injured in the two shootings which took place in a local bowling alley, and also at a bar on October 25.

Maine Governor Janet Mills invited the president to visit Lewiston

Following a manhunt that lasted over 48 hours, police announced they had found the body of Card in a woodland area near to the sites of the incidents. He is believed to have died by suicide.

Investigators have yet to establish a motive but have increasingly focused on the US Army reserve’s mental health. According to newly-released court documents, the 40-year-old believed locals were spreading conspiracies about him.

According to affidavits, search warrants and other documents released by authorities on Tuesday, Card believed people were calling him a “paedophile” at the bowling alley and the bar where he opened fire.

The revelations come as authorities continue to come under scrutiny for missing multiple chances to potentially stop the mass shooting.

Authorities said Card’s “concerned” family had alerted the local sheriff about his mental health – and that they were concerned he had access to firearms – in May this year. The Maine National Guard asked local police in September to check on the US Army reservist amid concerns he would “snap and commit a mass shooting”, according to CNN.

Maine teenager Michael Bowden was arrested after posting a chilling selfie holding a rifle in which he threatened Lewiston part 2’

The Maine State Police has also been blasted by a local deputy as “utter clowns” for its response in the immediate aftermath to the mass shootings.

Meanwhile, a Maine teenager was arrested after threatening online to carry out “Lewiston Part 2”.

Michael Bowden, 18, posted a photo of himself on Snapchat holding a rifle and ammunition in the parking lot of a Walmart where he used to work, according to WABI. He captioned the post: “Lewiston Part 2.”

Mr Bowden was arrestedat his home in Etna, Maine, and charged with domestic violence terrorising and aggravated reckless conduct. He was later released on $10,000 bond.

Police said that the suspect was fired from Walmart back in 2021 and had made multiple trips to the store’s parking lot in recent days.

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