LEWISTON — At least 16 people were killed and dozens more injured in multiple shootings here Wednesday night, in what is likely the deadliest shooting in Maine’s history.

Robert Card Courtesy of Maine State Police

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck refused to confirm the number of deaths in a news conference late Wednesday, but the Associated Press, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, reported 16 deaths. Earlier in the night, Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson and a Lewiston city councilman had said that as many as 22 people died.

Maine State Police are searching for Robert Card, 40, in connection with the shootings at Sparetime Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille. By Thursday morning, more than 100 state and federal law enforcement officials were participating in the manhunt for Card.

Card, who lives in Bowdoin, is a trained firearms instructor who police believe is in the U.S. Army Reserve out of Saco. He recently reported mental health issues, including hearing voices, and made threats to shoot the National Guard base in Saco, according to state police, who said he spent two weeks at a mental health facility this summer.

The gunman enters Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston on Wednesday night. Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office via AP

They warned the public that Card should be considered armed and dangerous. In surveillance photos released by police, the man identified as Card can be seen lifting a rifle as he enters a building.

The car police believed he was driving, a white Subaru Outback, was found near the Lisbon boat dock on Frost Hill Avenue near Route 196. Police were knocking on doors of nearby homes while helicopters remained in the area Wednesday night.


The Lisbon Police Department wrote in an early morning Facebook post that police recommend Lisbon residents “continue to shelter in place with an emphasis on residents between Mill Street in Lisbon Center, along the Rt 196 corridor east to Main street in Lisbon Falls. Businesses located within this area especially will mostly be closed until safety concerns have been addressed.”

Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday morning, state police said authorities were expanding shelter-in-place and school closing advisories to include the town of Bowdoin as well.

Sauschuck held a news conference around 11:30 p.m. at Lewiston City Hall, where a staging area for police had been set up. He gave few details except to say that Card is a person of interest.

Sauschuck said there were “literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine” to investigate the case and look for Card.

Just before 3 a.m. Thursday, Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, said authorities did not have any updates to report and that a news conference was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Lewiston City Hall.


Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline urged anyone in the city to be cautious and stay home.

“Lewiston is currently under a shelter-in-place order, and it is critical to prioritize your safety and the safety of those around you,” he said in a statement. “Please follow all recommended guidelines and stay home. We will continue to monitor this situation and State Police will provide updates.”

“I am heartbroken for our city and our people,” he added. “Lewiston is known for our strength and grit and we will need both in the days to come.”

All municipal buildings – including City Hall and the Armory – will be closed Thursday, with all events canceled and all non-emergency staff told to stay home. State offices in Lewiston and Auburn will also be closed Thursday.

Stretchers are lined up outside the emergency room at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Wednesday night following deadly mass shootings. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, speaking outside a reunification center that was set up at Auburn Middle School, said he had been inside the school with shooting witnesses as they were reunited with family.

“This is an absolute tragedy,” he said. “Something you would never think of. We all know some of these people. And I saw some friends here.”


Levesque said 60 families were reunified, and more were arriving through the night.

“Eyes are open, ears are listening and justice will be served, hopefully swiftly,” Levesque said. “Hug your loved ones tonight. You just don’t know.”

He said he was heartened to see the quick regional and statewide response. “This is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” he said.


Police, fire and rescue personnel descended on Sparetime Recreation, which was recently renamed Just-In-Time Recreation, on Mollison Way about 7:15 p.m. during a youth bowling night.

Shortly afterward, reports came in that there was another shooting four miles away at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Lincoln Street.


Lewiston public information officer Derrick St. Laurent told the Sun Journal at about 8:15 p.m. that another shooting had been reported at the Walmart Distribution Center on Alfred A Plourde Parkway. But just before 11 p.m. a spokesperson for Walmart said there was no shooting at the facility.

“This shooting did not occur on Walmart property,” Joe Pennington said. “The (distribution center) locked down like everyone else and police searched the facility.”

The distribution center is located less than a mile from Schemengees. Auburn bus drivers were called to Great Falls Plaza to transport people from the center.

“We’ve accounted for all associates on the clock. There were no injuries,” Pennington said. “I am very sorry for what’s happening in your community.”

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office issued a shelter-in-place order for the entire county and posted pictures of a suspect in the Sparetime shooting on Facebook.

Lewiston schools went into lockdown while parent-teacher conferences were going on into the evening.


Most area schools are planning to close on Thursday, including those in Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon, Durham, Brunswick, Mt. Ararat, Poland, Minot, Mechanic Falls and Winthrop.

“Stay close to your loved ones. Embrace them. Our prayers go out to those who lost someone tonight. Our prayers go out to all those working to stop further loss of life. We will provide updates,” Lewiston schools said in a statement on its website.

Bates College in Lewiston and Bowdoin College in Brunswick also remained on lockdown Wednesday night. Bates canceled classes for Thursday “so that we can be together in community and to support one another,” according to a message posted on its website. 

A sign on Lisbon Street asks the public to take shelter in Lewiston after a mass shooting. Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

The shooting is likely the deadliest in Maine’s history.

Five people died during a shooting in Saco in 2014 when a man shot and killed his wife and their three children, then turned the gun on himself.

There have been few other mass shootings in Maine in the past three decades.


In 2006, Christian Nielsen killed four people in Newry. In 1988, Earl Lozier shot and killed four people in Bangor, including his brother. In 1992, Virgil Smith set fire to a building on Portland’s Munjoy Hill, where his ex-girlfriend lived, killing four people. In 2011, Steven Lake killed his wife, his two children and then himself at their home in Dexter.

In April of this year, Joseph Eaton is accused of killing four people, including his parents, in Bowdoin and injuring three others.

It’s also one of the deadliest mass shooting events in the U.S. since 1966, according to The Violence Project Mass Shooter Database.


Lewiston’s Emergency Alert system activated just after 8 p.m. and again just after 10 p.m. indicating an “active shooter is located in Lewiston” and advising people to shelter in place.

Across the city, area residents were staying alert.


Auburn resident Anne Kinney said she was out picking up a prescription at Hannaford in Lewiston on Wednesday evening when “a loudspeaker in the store came on telling us that there was an active shooter situation and that all entrance/exit doors were being locked.”

There wasn’t any more information, she said.

“An employee brought some of us chairs to sit on,” Kinney said, and they waited.

Eventually, she said a police officer arrived “and advised store folks to let us out one by one — if we wished — and then to dim store lights and completely close.”

Kinney said she got home safely but felt “very shaken.”


Bystander video captured people running away from the bowling alley as police lights flashed nearby.

Kathy Lebel, co-owner of Schemengees, said she was not at the restaurant at the time of the shooting but was told a person walked in and “started shooting.” The staff ran out, she said.

“It was just a fun night  playing cornhole. … It’s the last thing you’re expecting, right?” Lebel said. “I still feel like this whole thing is a nightmare.”

Lebel was among about two dozen people outside Central Maine Medical Center trying to get more information about friends and family. One man said a friend had gone to Schemengees for cornhole night and was not answering his phone.

A source told a Sun Journal reporter that there were 14 to 16 gunshot victims at Schemengees and that United Ambulance was transporting victims to area hospitals.

A helicopter searches near Lisbon Street on Wednesday night as a manhunt continues for a shooter who left at least 16 dead at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

As armed security stood outside the emergency entrance to the hospital, people waited to give their names to hospital staff as emergency contacts for those who may have already been brought in.


Dozens of stretchers and medical staff were lined up at the Emergency Department entrance at CMMC.

The hospital asked for medical helicopter aid from a Boston hospital. It was expected to pick up victims at Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport to bring to Boston-area hospitals.

CMMC posted a statement on its website acknowledging that it was responding to a “mass casualty, mass shooter event” and that Central Maine Healthcare was coordinating with area hospitals to take in patients.

A spokesperson for Maine Medical Center in Portland confirmed the hospital was scheduled to receive one patient from CMMC.


Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement that she was aware of the shootings and had been briefed.


“I urge all people in the area to follow the direction of State and local enforcement,” Mills said. “I will continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with public safety officials.”

President Joe Biden reached out directly to Mills and several members of Maine’s delegation, including Sen. Angus King, and offered any federal assistance he could provide to help the people of Maine.

“Senator King expressed his deep appreciation to the President for the outreach and support. Given the horrific nature of the events in Maine, Senator King will now be headed to Maine on one of the first flights available — he wants to be home to support Lewiston in any way he can,” a spokesperson for King said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a three-term Democrat who lives in Lewiston, said in a prepared statement, “Like all Mainers, I’m horrified by the events in Lewiston tonight. This is my hometown.”

“Right now, all of us are looking to local law enforcement as they gain control of the situation and gather information,” Golden said. “Our hearts break for those who are affected and we encourage everyone to follow the directions of the authorities as they conduct their work.”

This story will be updated.

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