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Maine shooting updates: Biden tells Lewiston ‘you are not alone’

President will meet with families and victims of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, amid questions around whether Robert Card could have been stopped

Sheila Flynn,Andrea Blanco,Rachel Sharp,Kelly Rissman
Saturday 04 November 2023 12:06 GMT

Maine Governor confirms Lewiston shooting suspect found dead

President Joe Biden headed to Lewiston today to meet with families and victims of the mass shooting.

The president and first lady spent time with first responders on the front lines of the response and met those who lost loved ones in the horrific attack. Speaking to the Maine community, Mr Biden said, we “want to make sure you know you’re not alone.”

“This tragedy opens a painful wound across the country,” he continued. “Too many Americans have lost loved ones or have survived the trauma of gun violence.”

The visit comes after Maine Governor Janet Mills launched a probe into the missed chances to stop the shooting, after it emerged that police were warned multiple times about the gunman’s concerning and threatening behaviour prior to the massacre.

Authorities said Robert 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.

Newly-released court documents also revealed that the gunman who killed 18 and wounded 13 believed locals were spreading conspiracies calling him a “paedophile” at the bowling alley and the bar where he opened fire.

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WATCH: Maine governor ignores questions from CNN reporter about shooter warning signs

Maine governor ignores questions from CNN reporter about shooter warning signs
Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 04:00
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On the ground: A Lewiston shooting victim ate the same meal at the same cafe each week. Now his friends are paying tribute

Beloved regular Ronald Morin, who came in most Saturdays at Dubois Cafe to entertain staff with his dad jokes as he ordered the same meal, wasn’t there.

But his friends were.

“They filled up this entire corner of the restaurant, and they all got something similar – so he would typically get a ham and Cooper cheese omelet, hash browns on the side, no toast typically, and bacon on the side,” waitress Alyssa Black told The Independent on Sunday. “Everyone came in yesterday, and they got pretty much his meal – the bacon on the side, no toast, no sides.”

Andrea Blanco and Sheila Flynn report from on the ground in Lewiston:

Lewiston shooting victim always ate at the same cafe. Now friends pay unique tribute

Thousands turned out on Sunday night at a Maine basilica for a vigil remembering those senselessly killed days earlier by the state’s first mass shooter – as friends and family remembered loved ones with smaller, beautiful gestures, as well. Andrea Blanco and Sheila Flynn report from Lewiston

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 06:00
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Gunman believed Lewiston locals were spreading ‘conspiracies’ about him

The gunman who killed 18 and wounded 13 more in the mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, believed locals were spreading conspiracies about him, according to newly-released court documents.

On Tuesday, Maine State Police and the Maine Department of Public Safety released affidavits, search warrants and other documents in the case.

Witnesses told law enforcement officials that Robert Card believed people were calling him a “paedophile” at the bowling alley and the bar where he opened fire last week, the documents show.

According to Card’s brother, the US Army Reservist thought there was a “conspiracy” whereby people were levelling such accusations against him.

Kelly Rissman2 November 2023 06:30
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Maine mass shooter believed people were spreading ‘conspiracies’ that he was a paedophile

Newly-released court documents reveal that witnesses told law enforcement officials that, in the run-up to the 25 October attacks, the US Army Reservist believed that people at the Schemengees Bar & Grille and Just-In-Time bowling alley were spreading conspiracies online that he was a paedophile.

Back in May – five months before the mass shooting – Card’s family members contacted authorities about his concerning beliefs that there was a conspiracy involving people accusing him of being a paedophile, the new documents reveal.

According to an incident report, filed by a Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s deputy, Card’s teenage son told police that his father began saying that he believed people were talking about him when they were out in public.

The encounters, which he said began around January time, would involve people who “were not even close to them and that nothing was being said in his father’s direction”.

His son “came to the conclusion that Robert was likely hearing voices or starting to experience paranoia”, the deputy wrote.

The re-occurring theme of this paranoia, he said, was that Card said “claiming people were saying derogatory things about him, such as calling him a pedophile”.

Memorials to shooting victims

This escalated over time with Card’s son revealing that during a visit to his father he grew “very angry” with him – and even accused his own son of saying things behind his back.

This account about Card’s concerning mental state being centred on fears of a paedophile conspiracy against him was echoed by a number of other witnesses, the documents show.

Card had texted his brother about taking legal action against the people he claimed were calling him a paedophile, his sibling told authorities.

Meanwhile a member of the Army Reserves unit said that Card had accused other soldiers of calling him a sex offender.

This incident in the military led the Army to send him for a mental health evaluation back in the summer.

Card went on to claim that four local businesses that he frequented – including the two targeted in the massacre – were broadcasting online the claims that he was a paedophile.

Over time, Card also believed that some family members were involved in the conspiracy, witnesses said.

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 07:00
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Biden may visit Lewiston on Friday

President Joe Biden is said to be considering visiting Lewiston this week following last week’s mass shooting that left 18 victims dead and 13 wounded.

Governor Janet Mills said she has invited the president to visit this Friday.

“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.

“As you know, when the president visits any state anywhere, there’s a lot of logistics that has to come into play. I don’t have anything to share on on a potential date, but certainly we are appreciative.

“And as you know, the Deputy Director of the Gun Prevention Office, Greg Jackson, as I mentioned, I believe yesterday, is on the ground providing support to the community.”

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 08:00
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Maine shooting suspect’s possible motive revealed in new documents

Newly-released court documents have shone a light on the possible motive behind the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine – and the alleged gunman’s state of mind.

On Tuesday, Maine State Police and the Maine Department of Public Safety released a trove of affidavits, search warrants and other documents in the case, including harrowing witness accounts from suspect Robert Card’s son and brother as well as survivors of the massacre.

The documents reveal that witnesses told law enforcement officials that, in the run-up to the 25 October attacks, the US Army reservist believed that people at the Schemengees Bar & Grille and Just-In-Time bowling alley were spreading conspiracies online that he was a paedophile.

He also believed that the bar manager – one of the victims he killed in the shooting rampage – had once called him “gay”, witnesses said.

And he had also met his ex-girlfriend at the bar – an ex-girlfriend who had not long broken up with him.

Altogether, the new details reveal the 40-year-old’s ties to the bar and bowling alley, offering a glimpse into why he may have chosen to target the two locations in what marks Maine’s first major mass shooting.

Read the full story here:

Maine shooting suspect’s possible motive revealed in new documents

Unsealed documents reveal the suspect believed people were spreading ‘conspiracies’ about him at the bowling alley and bar – and that he had met his ex-girlfriend at the bar

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 09:00
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Teenager arrested for threatening ‘Lewiston Part 2’

A teenager has been arrested for threatening 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 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.

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 10:00
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Gunman met ex-girlfriend at bar he targeted in mass shooting: new documents

Robert Card met his ex-girlfriend at Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, according to witness accounts detailed in newly-released court documents.

Back on 25 October, the gunman first targeted the popular bowling alley just before 7pm on the evening of 25 October, killing seven people including a 14-year-old boy who was bowling with his father and their league.

Card then headed straight for the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, opening fire there minutes later and killing another eight victims there. Three other victims died after being taken to a local hospital.

As well as the 18 victims killed, another 13 were injured in the attacks.

The shooting sparked a huge two-day manhunt to track down Card, before his body was found on Friday in a trailer at a Lisbon recycling plant where he used to work. He died by suicide, with officials confirming that he left a note behind in his home indicating his plans not to be found alive.

During the manhunt, witnesses told law enforcement that Card met his former girlfriend at Schemengees during a cornhole tournament.

The couple split in February, with Card appearing to unravel from there, the affidavit states.

He began wearing hearing aids, suffered significant weight loss and started saying “crazy things”, witnesses said.

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 11:00
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Six missed chances to stop Maine mass shooting

Almost a week after a horrifying mass shooting left 18 people dead in Lewiston, Maine, questions are mounting over whether the atrocity could have been prevented altogether.

Information continues to emerge about warning signs around suspected shooter Robert Card - including concerns raised by his family and the Army alike - stemming back months before the massacre.

The first known warning came back in May, five months before the shooting, when Card’s family alerted the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s office with concerns about his mental health and his access to guns.

In July, Card was put under psychiatric evaluation for two weeks after an incident with fellow Army soldiers.

The Independent’s Kelly Rissman delves into the missed chances:

Six missed warning signs before the Maine mass shooting explained

In the aftermath of the shooting, authorities are facing mounting pressure to explain whether they could have done more to stop the tragedy. Kelly Rissman reports

Rachel Sharp2 November 2023 12:00
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WATCH: 10-year-old victim of Maine shooting asks heartbreaking question in TV interview

10-year-old girl injured in Maine shooting asks heartbreaking question in TV interview
Kelly Rissman2 November 2023 13:35

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