A huge police search is still underway for the man who apparently shot and killed at least 18 people in the city of Lewiston in the American state of Maine.
The shootings took place at a bowling alley and restaurant and bar. Dozens of law enforcement officers raided the family home of the 40-year-old suspect, Robert Card, yesterday afternoon, but left the property again in the evening to search for him elsewhere.
A wide area around Lewiston remains on lockdown, more than 24 hours after Card allegedly carried out the deadliest mass shooting in America this year. At least 13 people were also wounded. It was previously reported that the death toll was 22, but this has since been adjusted downwards.
The authorities set up roadblocks, schools and businesses were closed and residents were told to stay indoors. Governor Janet Mills said the suspect was “considered armed and dangerous”.
The local police posted a photo of the shooter on Facebook where he can be seen with a semi-automatic weapon at the bowling alley. News channels broadcast footage of people fleeing the bowling alley in terror after the shooting began Wednesday night.
Card is a US Army reservist and according to US media, he was recently sent for psychiatric treatment after he said he was hearing voices.
Pres. Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House and all government buildings to be flown at half-staff.
“Once again, our nation is in mourning after another senseless and tragic mass shooting,” he said.
Biden added that the gun violence plaguing the United States “is not normal, and we cannot accept it” and urged lawmakers to pass a bill banning assault weapons.
The shooting is one of the deadliest in the US since 2017, when a gunman opened fire at a packed music festival in Las Vegas, killing 60 people.
There have been more than 500 mass shootings in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-governmental organization that defines a mass shooting as four or more people being wounded or killed.