In a shocking turn of events on Wednesday night, the Lewiston, Maine, police department announced that they had identified a person of interest in a series of mass shootings that had rocked the community. The incident left residents in a state of panic and mourning as they grappled with the aftermath of the violence.
What Public Safety Commissioner Said in Lewiston Case ?
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck, in a press conference held that same night, urged the public to be on high alert. He identified the person of interest as Robert Card, a 40-year-old individual who should be considered armed and dangerous. Card’s car had been located in the nearby town of Lisbon, intensifying concerns about his potential whereabouts.
Sauschuck needed to provide precise figures regarding casualties, noting that the numbers were uncertain and continually changing. This lack of clarity only added to the anxiety gripping the community.
A photograph resembling Card’s driver’s license picture was posted on the Lewiston Police Department’s Facebook page. It appeared to match surveillance images from an earlier release by authorities, depicting a person carrying a long gun. The police department implored members of the public to promptly contact law enforcement if they possessed any information about Card’s location.
The situation prompted a shelter-in-place order for Androscoggin County, Maine, as authorities embarked on an extensive manhunt for the suspect. Earlier instructions had advised residents to remain indoors with doors locked due to the ongoing manhunt.
The Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston reported that it was responding to what they described as a “mass casualty, mass shooter event.” They were collaborating with neighboring hospitals to accommodate the influx of patients.
Lewiston police reported that the manhunt was connected to shootings at least two locations, notably Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a local bowling alley.
In a statement, Mayor Carl Sheline expressed his sorrow: “I am deeply saddened for our community and its citizens. Lewiston is renowned for its tenacity and strength, and in the days ahead, we will require both.”
The police department’s appeal for people to stay off the roads was made to facilitate the work of emergency responders. According to Sauschuck, hundreds of police officers were mobilized across Maine.
Maine Medical Center, based in Portland, took precautions by alerting on-call staff and creating additional capacity in critical care and operating rooms, anticipating potential patient transfers. The hospital confirmed receiving one patient transport from Central Maine Medical Center. Other MaineHealth facilities are also prepared to provide care.
President Biden reportedly received a briefing on the shooting event, according to a statement from the White House. He had corresponded with several Maine government figures, such as Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, Representative Jared Golden, and Governor Janet Mills. “Full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack,” the President said.
Furthermore, a Justice Department spokesperson revealed that the Attorney General had been briefed and would closely monitor the situation. Federal law enforcement agencies were assisting their state and local counterparts in Lewiston, Maine.
In light of the ongoing crisis, the superintendent of Lewiston Public Schools announced the cancellation of all classes for the following day. In a statement, Superintendent Jake Langlais urged residents to continue sheltering in place or seek safety, acknowledging the high uncertainty surrounding the situation.