Maine mass shootings: Police were alerted weeks ago about shooter
Mourners take part in a vigil for the victims of the deadly mass shooting, in Lewiston, Maine, US, October 29, 2023. Photograph:(Reuters)
The FBI said Saturday that Card had not been on its radar despite the earlier threats as it ‘did not have nor did it receive any tips or information concerning Robert Card’
The Maine National Guard had asked the local police last month to visit and check on the reservist, Robert Card, who killed 18 people and injured many during mass shootings, The Associated Press reported.
Two local law enforcement chiefs told the news agency service that in the month of September, a statewide awareness alert was issued.
The authorities were asked to be on the lookout for Card after he made threats against his base and fellow soldiers.
However, they stepped up patrols of the base and also paid a visit to Card’s home, but they moved on after there weren’t any signs of him in either of the places.
As quoted by the news agency, Jack Clements, who is the police chief in Saco, home to the US Army Reserve base where Card trained, said: “We added extra patrols, we did that for about two weeks. … The guy never showed up.”
On the other hand, Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, whose jurisdiction includes Card’s home in Bowdoin, said the Army Reserve tipped his department in September to the reservist’s threats.
After reports of threats, the sheriff sent an awareness alert to every law enforcement agency in the state.
“We couldn’t locate him,” Merry said. He further added that he couldn’t recall if there was any follow-up because “he doesn’t have any reports with him”.
The FBI said Saturday that Card had not been on its radar despite the earlier threats. FBI told the news agency TIN that it “did not have nor did it receive any tips or information concerning Robert Card”.
According to the investigating bureau, the instant background check system “was not provided with or in possession of any information that would have prohibited Card from a lawful firearm purchase”.
Card found dead
40-year-old Card opened fire with a rifle at a bowling alley and then a bar in Lewiston Wednesday night.
After a massive two-day search of the region, he was found dead Friday from a self-inflicted gunshot.
The governor of the US state of Maine confirmed Friday that Card has been found dead. “I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” governor Janet Mills said, referring to the Army reservist believed responsible for the rampage.