Maine mass shooting: What we know about suspect Robert Card

The suspect was found dead Friday following a massive manhunt, officials said.

October 28, 2023, 11:44 AM

The suspect in a mass shooting in Maine that killed at least 18 people and wounded 13 others was found dead following a massive two-day manhunt, officials said.

The mass shooting unfolded in two locations in Lewiston on Wednesday evening: a bowling alley where a children's league was taking place and a local bar, officials said. The Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office released a photo Wednesday night of the suspect brandishing a semi-automatic rifle at one of the locations.

The suspected gunman -- identified as 40-year-old Robert Card, a U.S. Army reservist from Bowdoin -- was found dead Friday night from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a recycling plant in Lisbon where he previously worked, officials said.

Card worked as a commercial driver for approximately one year at Maine Recycling Corporation before voluntarily leaving late last spring, the company said.

PHOTO: Law enforcement officers gather outside Lewiston High School, Maine on Oct. 26, 2023.
Law enforcement officers gather outside Lewiston High School, Maine on Oct. 26, 2023.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

3 firearms, note recovered

Authorities found the suspect's white Subaru at a location in Lisbon, several miles southeast of Lewiston, late Wednesday, which was a critical piece of evidence in allowing police to focus on Card, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.

A long gun was recovered from the vehicle, according to Maine Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Sauschuck.

Two other firearms were found on the body of Card, who was located after a Maine State Police tactical team searched an overflow lot of trailers across the street from the recycling plant, Sauschuck told reporters during a press briefing on Saturday.

The three firearms recovered appear to have been purchased legally, Sauschuck said.

Investigators also found a note at Card's home addressed to a "loved one," Sauschuck said. The note was not an explicit suicide note but the "tone and tenor" suggested that Card wasn't going to be around much longer and included his phone passcode and bank account numbers, Sauschuck said.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News the note was found Thursday and was addressed to Card's son.

Card's family has been cooperating with authorities, law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation told ABC News. Card's sister told investigators she thought Card might have been looking for an ex-girlfriend at the shooting locations, the sources said. One avenue of investigation is whether this mass shooting began as a domestic dispute, according to the sources.

Card was previously married. His ex-wife filed for the divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, which was granted in 2007 with shared custody of the couple's minor child, court documents show. The divorce order was amended in 2013 to include shared parental rights and responsibilities of the child, whose primary residence was with his mother, the documents show.

Online behavior under investigation

The suspect appears to have "interacted with conspiratorial content" online, information provided to law enforcement shows.

Topics he engaged with included but were not limited to: concerns about a financial crisis/stock market, LGBTQ+ issues, gun rights and commentary about Democratic public officials, including President Joe Biden, the information shows.

His "likes" between January and March included posts about classified documents found at Biden's home, calls for the IRS to be abolished, allegations of Democrats engaging in election fraud in 2020 and conspiracies about COVID-19, the information shows.

Investigators are digging into, among other things, the suspected shooter's writings and history of psychiatric problems.

"I think clearly there's a health component to this," Sauschuck said Saturday. "We still need to do some around trying to get access to certain records and things of that nature."

'Behaving erratically'

Card had been a U.S. Army reservist since December 2002, the Army said. His rank was sergeant first class and his job was a petroleum supply specialist. He had no combat deployments.

A U.S. Defense Department official confirmed to ABC News that Card was "behaving erratically" while deployed over the summer with his Army Reserve Unit to Camp Smith Training Center in upstate New York to support summer training for West Point cadets.

Leaders of the Army Reserve's 3rd Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment informed garrison staff at the training site about his behavior on July 17, the defense official said.

"Out of concern for his safety, the unit requested that law enforcement be contacted," the official said.

New York State Police officers responded and transported Card to Keller Army Community Hospital at the U.S. Military Academy for medical evaluation, the official said.

Card allegedly threatened other soldiers with violence and was "command directed" to go to the hospital for the evaluation, according to a source briefed and with direct knowledge of the incident.

New York State Police has stationed armed troopers at the entrances to Camp Smith as a precaution to beef up the armed security, according to the defense official.

Card was not assigned to West Point over the summer as any sort of instructor, including firearms, an academy official told ABC News.

"While his unit supported West Point summer training, our records indicate he did not instruct nor have any interactions with cadets in training," the official said.

An Army spokesperson also confirmed Thursday that there are no records to indicate Card instructed or participated in any of the training.

Card was not trained by the Army as a firearms instructor, "nor did he serve in that capacity for the Army," the spokesperson, Bryce Dubee, added.

"We take matters such as this very seriously, and our primary concern is ensuring that all legal and appropriate actions are taken in accordance with our commitment to upholding the highest standards of conduct among our Soldiers and civilian personnel," Dubee said in a statement. "We will continue to collaborate [with] and support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies."

Card's military service awards included the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

ABC News' Josh Margolin, Aaron Katersky and Luke Barr contributed to this report.

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