The suspect responsible for the shooting that resulted in the deaths of 18 people in the U.S. state of Maine was located and found dead by police late Friday, following an almost two-day manhunt.
Authorities said Robert Card, 40, was discovered near a recycling facility near the city of Lewiston, where the shootings occurred, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
“Our community can now breathe a sigh of relief,” said Police Chief David St. Pierre at a news conference. “I was very elated tonight when I got the call … advising me of the revelation of what took place and that Mr. Card is deceased and no longer a threat to our community or any other community.”
The shooting rampage took place late Wednesday at a local bowling alley and later at an area bar.
Police said Card opened fire with a high-powered sniper rifle killing 18 and wounding 13 others, before fleeing. Hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officials began an intensive manhunt that left the small community of 37,000 in fear and under a shelter-in-place order for almost 48 hours.
“I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “But I also know that his death may not bring solace to many.”
Police said they still have to piece together all the evidence to complete the investigation. The focus now shifts to the families of the victims.
“Now is a time to heal, and with this search concluded, I know that law enforcement continues to fully investigate all the facts so we can bring what closure we can to the victims and their families,” said Mills. “Tonight, the city of Lewiston and the state of Maine begin to move forward on what will be a long and difficult road to healing, but we will heal together.”
It was the 567th mass shooting in the US in 2023 and the deadliest this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive – an online registry of violent gun occurrences.