The attacker believed to be responsible for the shooting death of 18 people in the US state of Maine has been found dead, the state’s governor has announced. It brought an end to a two-day search during which hundreds of law enforcement agents were deployed and residents of the northeastern state held their breath.
Robert Card, a 40-year-old army reservist, shot himself. His body was discovered around 1:15 a.m. (South Africa time) on Saturday, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said.
Card is believed to be responsible for the mass shooting on Wednesday evening that left 18 people dead and 13 others wounded at a bowling alley and a bar in the city.
“I breathe a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” Governor Janet Mills said at a media conference.
The feeling was shared by US Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who said on X pres. Joe Biden called her to say “the perpetrator of the horrific attack in Lewiston has been found”.
Biden says the mass shooting resulted in “two tragic days” – not just for Lewiston, but “for the entire country”.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to stop this epidemic of gun violence. The Lewiston community – and all Americans – deserve nothing less,” Biden said in a statement issued by the White House.
The authorities identified the victims on Friday. They range from a couple in their 70s to a 14-year-old boy who was shot dead with his father.
The shooting at the bowling alley and restaurant bar is the deadliest in the US in the past year.
Card’s body was found in Lisbon Falls. It is southeast of Lewiston near the Androscoggin River, authorities said. American media reports that his body was found near a recycling center where Card worked before he lost his position there.
The police cordoned off roads to the premises on Friday evening.
Sauschuck said it was not immediately clear when Card shot himself.
The shooting – and the fact that Card remained at large – caused great concern among Maine residents. He was described as “armed and dangerous”.
Earlier in the day, authorities said they were following up on more than 530 tips and leads about Card’s possible whereabouts.
Card is an army reservist, but has not been deployed in any war zone. American media reported he was recently sent for psychological treatment after he said he was hearing voices.
The latest shooting is one of the deadliest in the US since 2017, when a gunman shot and killed 60 people at a packed music festival in Las Vegas.