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Maine police received reports of the shooter's threats weeks ago

Robert Card's body was found inside a trailer at an overflow lot for the Maine Recycling Corporation, police said during a Saturday press conference.
Posted at 9:48 AM, Oct 28, 2023

Last month, authorities informed Maine police about "veiled threats" made by Robert Card, who later carried out the state's deadliest mass shooting that killed 18 people and injured 13 others. 

According to the Associated Press, two local law enforcement chiefs issued a statewide awareness alert and stepped up patrols at Card's home and former army base, but he never showed up.

Despite the earlier threats, the FBI told the AP on Saturday that Card had not been on its radar and that it “did not have nor did it receive any tips or information concerning Robert Card.”

Card's body was found Friday night in a box trailer parked in an overflow lot for the Maine Recycling Corporation, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said during a Saturday briefing.

It's unclear how long Card had been dead before his body was found. An autopsy will be performed on Card's body to determine an approximate time of death, Sauschuck said.

The overflow lot is near the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls. It had not been searched prior to the time when Card's body was found. Nearby areas were previously searched, Sauschuck said. He said the overflow lot was searched after the owner of the recycling center contacted authorities to ask if they had searched the trailers at the location.

Card died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. Sauschuck said two firearms were found with his body. Another firearm was found in a vehicle he was believed to have been driving.

"There have been a number of firearms recovered as part of this investigation, and some of them have been purchased very recently," an official with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said during a Saturday press briefing.

Police believe Card is the sole person responsible for the Wednesday shootings at Just-in-Time Recreation, also known as Sparetime Recreation bowling alley—its former official name—and Schemengees Bar & Grille.

Card's body was found about 48 hours after the first shooting took place.

Sauschuck wouldn't comment on why Card targeted the two locations, only saying that he believed there was a mental health component to it, including "hearing voices" and "paranoia."

Card reportedly left a note for loved ones at his home.

"I wouldn’t describe it as a suicide note, but it had the tone and tenor this individual would not be around," Sauschuck said. He added that the note included bank information and the passcode to Card's phone. 

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The shelter-in-place order in Lewiston and surrounding areas was lifted just hours before police found Card's body. 

Saturday is the official start of hunting season in Maine. The state planned on prohibiting hunting in Lewiston and surrounding areas while law enforcement searched for Card, but after his body was found on Friday night, Sauschuck said hunting would be allowed. 

Card was a petroleum supply specialist in the Army Reserve. A spokesperson with the Army said Card was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, in Saco, Maine.

The Army said he enlisted in 2002 and was never deployed to a combat area.

There were signs that Card may have been a risk. He was committed to a mental institution in the summer after he reported hearing voices, officials said.

However, Sauschuck said that he had no information to suggest Card was forcibly committed, which could have raised a flag when he attempted to purchase a gun.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.