Massacre in Lewiston, the second most populous city in Maine, the small neighboring state of Massachusetts. There, two hours from Boston, a sniper is on the loose, littering the streets with dead and wounded. At least 18 people would have lost their lives in the worst massacre of the year and the eighth in history, which until last night had also left 13 injured, according to local authorities who said they were still “in shock.” According to Gun Violence Archive, an organization that watches over gun violence in the United States, this is the 565th mass shooting so far this year. Maine is a permit-free gun state, meaning no license is required, and generally has few laws restricting access to handguns or rifles.
At 8 p.m., the security cameras at the Just In Time Recreation bowling alley showed a white-skinned man dressed in civilian clothes pointing an automatic rifle at the brand-new bowling alley where he allegedly fired indiscriminately. As terrified patrons fled through doors and windows, the gunman got into the car and drove to the next crime scene: Schemengees Bar and Grille, 4 miles away. He calmly entered the establishment with the rifle in firing position and opened fire. Between both scenes he left at least 18 dead, but the hunt had only just begun.
The photo of the alleged murderer, a white man with an anxious expression, in a hunting position, skinny, tall, with a beard and an assault rifle with a scope, did not bode well for a few minutes. According to authorities, this is Robert Card, a reserve soldier and shooting instructor. He was wearing a brown hoodie and the semi-automatic rifle he carried was military-style, a weapon also tragically familiar in everyday America. A police report distributed to his officers warned that he had been admitted to a mental health facility for two weeks last summer. The suspect reportedly claimed to “hear voices” and recently threatened to carry out a shooting at a National Guard facility in Saco.
The authorities intensify the search for the fugitive and hours after the massacre they still have not found his whereabouts. “Please reach out if you see anything suspicious, if something is not right.” said the Police Chief of the neighboring town of Lisbon, Ryan McGee, in statements to the media. “If you look out into your yard and think that gate wasn’t open or the trailer wasn’t positioned that way, if you see anything suspicious, call us,” he added.
Last night the murderer was still on the loose, spreading terror in the streets of this small city of 40,000 inhabitants, where today, Thursday, the schools will remain closed to prevent anyone from leaving their homes until he is arrested. «Stay close to your loved ones and hug them. Our prayers are with those who have lost someone tonight,” Jake Langlais, superintendent of Lewinston public schools, said in a statement when announcing the closure of all schools. “There is a lot left to know at this point,” he acknowledged.
The Police, supported by an FBI division from Boston, found the vehicle and surrounded it, but it turned out to be empty. His man had escaped and was still leaving dead people in the streets. The same ones that the authorities had asked to be cleared of traffic to facilitate the passage of ambulances and emergency vehicles that took them to a hospital also closed to the public for fear of becoming the next target.
“Honestly, I’m in shock,” the owner of Legends Sports Bar and Grill told the Associated Press, whose staff managed to quickly close the doors and get the 25 customers and employees inside to safety when they started hearing the sounds. shots in the bowling alley. The police ended up rescuing them four by four to make sure the killer was not among them.
“We encourage all businesses to close their doors while we investigate what is happening,” the Androscoggin County Sheriff said in a statement. The state of Maine – where 29 homicides occurred last year – is one of those with the most lax gun laws. In turn, the city of Lewiston is the city with the largest Somali population in this area of New England, which has received the most African immigration. Nobody wanted to speculate, just hunt down the man who was spreading panic on this night of the dead.
At midnight the suspect was still on the run, and authorities feared he was trying to escape to Canada, whose border at the closest point is just over two hours by car from Lewiston, a rural and sparsely populated area.