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Suspect in Deadly Maine Mass Shooting Found Dead, Ending Manhunt

Suspect in Deadly Maine Mass Shooting Found Dead, Ending Manhunt

A suspect in a mass shooting that killed 18 people in the small town of Lewiston, Maine, was found dead on Friday, ending a 48-hour manhunt that followed the deadliest episode of gun violence in the state’s history.

The body of Robert Card, 40, a sergeant at a US Army Reserve base and a former petroleum supply specialist, was discovered in woods near the neighbouring town of Lisbon. His abandoned vehicle had been found shortly after the shootings on Wednesday night.

“He is dead,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills told a news conference, expressing relief that the suspect was no longer a threat to the public. “Now is the time to heal,” she added.

Governor Janet Mills announced the suspected gunman’s body had been found

Authorities say Card died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The US Army reservist had opened fire in a bowling alley and then a bar minutes later on Wednesday night, killing 18 people, including a grandfather, a talented young bowler, and four deaf locals, ranging in age from 14 to 76. Thirteen others were injured in the attacks.

Officials have described Card as a trained firearms instructor with a history of mental illness. He was committed to a psychiatric facility for two weeks this summer, after which he was released.

An image of Card is displayed at a news conference in Lewiston on Friday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Lewiston Police Chief David St Pierre said the community was elated by the news but noted that “our work is not done here”. “We’re gonna grieve for the families that lost loved ones… we’re gonna become better people for it,” he added.

US President Joe Biden condemned the attacks as “senseless and tragic” and reiterated his call to Congress to enact universal background checks and bans on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Maine Senator Susan Collins also expressed relief at the news of Card’s death and thanked the first responders for their hard work. She added that President Biden had called her to inform her of the suspect’s death.

This poster provided by the Maine Department of Public Safety shows victims of the shootings. (Maine Department of Public Safety/The Associated Press)

The victims of Wednesday’s attack were remembered at a virtual vigil attended by nearly 100 deaf and hard of hearing people from across the country. “We lost four beloved deaf people,” said moderator Terry Morrell, adding that two other deaf people were injured in the attack.

The discovery of Card‘s body brings to an end a 48-hour manhunt that involved hundreds of officers from various agencies, including the FBI and US Coast Guard. Canadian authorities were also on alert during the search.

This tragic incident has left the normally bustling but serene community of Lewiston, a former textile hub and the second-most populous city in Maine, in shock and mourning as they begin the long and difficult road to healing.

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