Mystery note left behind by Maine mass shooting suspect revealed

Maine police refused to reveal the contents of the note left by Robert Card, hinting that it may point to a possible motive for the Lewiston mass shootings

Rachel Sharp
Saturday 28 October 2023 16:57 BST
Maine suspect remains at large as divers join search efforts

Maine mass shooting suspect Robert Card left behind a mystery note after he allegedly went on a killing rampage at a bowling alley and bar in the small town of Lewiston.

Maine’s Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck confirmed in a press conference on Friday that a note had been recovered in the wake of Wednesday’s attacks which left 18 victims dead and another 13 wounded.

However, Mr Sauschuck refused to reveal the contents of the note, hinting that it may point to a possible motive for the killings.

The revelation came hours before authorities found Card’s body in a wooded area close to a recycling area where he used to work. He appeared to have died from a self-inflicted wound.

Police sources had previously told ABC News that a “suicide note” addressed to his son had been found inside Mr Card’s home during a search.

The sources said the note contained the suspect’s rantings as well as some personal information such as bank account details.

As well as the note, a law enforcement official told CNN that Mr Card’s cellphone had also been recovered.

Details of the note come as authorities admitted that they still don’t know where the accused mass killer is almost 36 hours on from the shootings.

Divers had joined the search, scouring the waterways close to the boat landing where Card’s vehicle was found abandoned late on Wednesday night.

Mr Sauschuck said that the dive teams will be checking for evidence as well as “potential bodies” in the Androscoggin River.

Maine Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Sauschuck speaks at a press conference at City Hall in Lewiston

A dramatic raid was executed on Card’s home in Bowdoin on Thursday night, with Maine police and FBI agents heard shouting “FBI! Open the door!”

The dramatic scene however ended with no arrest and no sign of the US Army Reservist.

Card was described as “armed and dangerous” and members of the public were warned not to approach him if they see him.

Due to Card’s experience in the military, he was well-trained in the use of firearms.

Card, 40, was a US Army reservist and a certified firearms instructor, joining the forces in 2002.

He had no combat deployments and was a Sgt 1st class and Petroleum Supply Specialist.

Law enforcement officials said that Card had recently made threats to carry out a shooting at a National Guard facility in Saco and had reported mental health issues including hearing voices.

He spent two weeks in a mental health facility this summer.

Card’s family members were said to be cooperating with the investigation and suggested that he might have been looking for an ex-girlfriend at one of the shooting locations, ABC News reported.

It is not clear who this former partner may be – or if this did form part of a motive for the shooting – but court records show that Card was divorced by his ex-wife in 2007.

Law enforcement personnel search a wooded area in Monmouth, Maine, amid the search for shooting suspect Robert Card

In 2013, the court granted them both shared parental rights of their child, who lives primarily with his mother.

While terrified residents across several counties in Maine were hunkering down under shelter-in-place orders, loved ones were still learning the news that their family and friends were killed or wounded in the massacre.

In total, 18 people were killed in the shootings which took place across two locations on Wednesday night.

Maine police said that the gunman first targeted the popular bowling alley just before 7pm, killing seven people, including one female and six males.

The suspect then went to the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant and opened fire there minutes later, according to authorities.

Seven males were killed inside the restaurant and one male was killed outside.

Three other victims died after they were taken to a local hospital.

Another 13 were injured in the attacks, with their conditions currently unclear.

The youngest victim named is a 14-year-old boy who had gone to the bowling alley with his father that tragic night.

Aaron Young, 14, was with his father Bill Young at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley for an evening with their bowling league on Wednesday night, Bill’s brother Rob Young told Reuters.

For hours after the shooting, Aaron and Bill’s family did not know what had happened to their loved ones.

Rob told Reuters that he learned his brother and nephew were missing in the wake of the shooting so he jumped on a place from Baltimore to Lewiston to try to help his sister-in-law find them.

Aaron Young, 14, was with his father bowling when the shooting unfolded

Bill’s cousin Kim McConville told NBC News that the family had tracked his cellphone and found it located at the bowling alley where the first shooting took place.

“It’s total chaos,” she told the network prior to learning of their deaths.

“People aren’t getting any of the information they need. You know, it’s there. They’re not getting anything new. They’re not telling them any more than we’re getting off a news conference.”

The search ended tragically on Thursday afternoon when the family learned that both the father and son were killed in the attack.

Despite the search for the suspect rumbling on, Mr Sauschuck insisted on Friday that authorities are confident they will fine Mr Card.

“We’re working 24/7 to try to bring this individual to justice,” he said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will bring this individual into justice, one way or another.”

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