Massive manhunt underway in Maine after mass shootings claim 22
Lewiston police urge residents to shelter in place as they hunt 40-year-old person of interest Robert Card, described as "armed and dangerous"
A massive manhunt is currently underway in the US state of Maine for the gunman who killed 22 people in two mass shooting incidents, with the police asking residents of Lewiston, the second largest city in the state, to shelter in place.
There were two active shooting incidents on the evening of Wednesday, 25 October in the city — at Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley on Mollison Way, and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street — according to Lewiston Police, the two locations within 6.5 km of each other.
State officials said the shootings began at 6.56 pm local time, CNN reported. In a statement late on Wednesday, Lewiston Police said the 40-year-old person of interest, Robert Card, who is currently absconding, should be “considered armed and dangerous”.
"Law enforcement is attempting to locate Robert Card as a person of interest regarding the mass shooting at Schemengees Bar and Sparetime Recreation this evening. Card should be considered armed and dangerous. Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts," the statement added.
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As of Thursday, hundreds of officers continue to search for Card, a trained firearms instructor and member of the US Army Reserves, Xinhua news agency quoted authorities as saying. Law enforcement officials said Card had "recently reported mental health issues".
The Central Maine Medical Center also confirmed a "mass casualty, mass shooter event" and is coordinating with other hospitals in the area to treat the injured. Although the number of injured persons was not immediately clear, reports have suggested that at least 50 to 60 were hurt.
The shelter-in-place order remained for Lewiston and now is also in place for Lisbon, around 12 km southeast of the city, Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, told media.
Police also shared a photo of a white vehicle, saying its front bumper was believed to be painted black, and asked anybody who recognised it to contact police.
Sauschuck said a “vehicle of interest” was found in Lisbon but the person of interest remains at large. Lewiston Public Schools superintendent Jake Langlais has announced that schools will remain closed on Thursday.
The White House said President Joe Biden has been informed of the incident, adding that he spoke on the phone with a number of Maine lawmakers in the wake of the shootings, reports CNN.
"The President spoke by phone individually to Maine governor Janet Mills, senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Congressman Jared Golden about the shooting in Lewiston, Maine and offered full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack,” the report added.
Lewiston is a city of about 38,000 residents, about 56 km north of state capital Portland.