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14 June, 2024
 
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USA: Maine residents on 'lockdown' after 18 people killed

Yesterday's shooting in Lewiston, Maine left 18 people dead with the gunman still at large

Source: AP

Shocked and fearful Maine residents kept to their homes for a second night Thursday as hundreds of heavily armed police and FBI agents searched intensely for Robert Card, an Army reservist authorities say fatally shot 18 people at a bowling alley and a bar in the worst mass killing in state history.

Much of Thursday’s search focused on a property belonging to one of Card’s relatives in rural Bowdoin, where trucks and vans full of armed agents from the FBI and other agencies eventually surrounded a home. Card and anyone else inside were repeatedly ordered to surrender.

“You need to come outside now with nothing in your hands. Your hands in the air,” police said through a loudspeaker. In most instances when police execute warrants — even for suspects wanted for violent crimes — they move quickly to enter the home.

But hours later, after repeated announcements and a search, authorities moved off — and it was still unclear whether Card had ever been at the location, state police said.

Richard Goddard, who lives on the road where the search took place, knows the Card family. Robert Card, who is four years younger, knows the terrain well, Goddard said.

“This is his stomping ground. He grew up here,” he said. “He knows every ledge to hide behind, every thicket.”

Several homes were being searched and every lead pursued in the hunt for Card, a 40-year-old with firearms instructor training. Authorities said he should be considered armed and dangerous and not approached.

Card is suspected of opening fire with at least one rifle at a bar and a bowling alley Wednesday in Lewiston, which is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Bowdoin and is Maine’s second-largest city. The evening shootings killed 18 people and wounded 13 others, with three people still hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.

Authorities haven’t said how many guns were used or how they were obtained.

Schools, doctor’s offices and grocery stores closed and people stayed behind locked doors in cities as far as 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the scenes of the shootings. Maine’s largest city, Portland, closed its public buildings, while the Canada Border Services Agency issued an “armed and dangerous” alert to its officers stationed along the U.S. border.

April Stevens lives in the same neighborhood where one of the shootings took place. She turned on all her lights overnight and locked her doors. She knew someone killed at the bar and another person injured who needed surgery.

“We’re praying for everyone,” Stevens said through tears.

The attacks stunned a state of only 1.3 million people that has one of the country’s lowest homicide rates: 29 killings in all of 2022.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills promised to do whatever was needed to find Card and to “hold whoever is responsible for this atrocity accountable ... and to seek full justice for the victims and their families.”

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