After assembling 18 crosses Monday afternoon at the base of Raymond Park Fountain at Main and Lincoln streets in Lewiston, members of Lutheran Church Charities Hearts of Mercy & Compassion Ministry attach hearts with the names of each victim of last week’s mass shootings in Lewiston. In addition to this group, others from the church have brought eight K-9 comfort dogs who have met with local first responders and school groups. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

A Maine sheriff’s office released new documents Monday that detail two past complaints about Robert Card that give a fuller picture of his mental health struggles and law enforcement’s failed attempts to contact him before he fatally shot 18 people and wounded 13 others in Lewiston last week.

The documents released by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office say Card was hearing voices and struggling with paranoia and that, according to the U.S. Army Reserve, he recently told a friend he was “going to shoot up the drill center at Saco and other places.”

Maine Shooting

Robert Card Lewiston Maine Police Department

Family members contacted local police with their concerns about Card in May, but said they worried it would exacerbate the situation if Card knew they had gone to law enforcement. And police failed to make contact with Card following a separate report in which Card’s U.S. Army Reserve unit asked for a welfare check.

Gov. Janet Mills on Monday refused to answer questions about reports that law enforcement in Maine had been notified of concerns about Card and failed to take any action. The governor said police are investigating “all aspects” of the mass shootings at Just-in-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille and that answers will come out “in due course.”

“The Maine State Police is, as I’ve said, undergoing a thorough investigation of every aspect of the case,” Mills said during a State House news conference. “Facts are important. … Maine people deserve an answer to these questions, all of them, and that will happen in due course.”

Mills was confronted with questions at the news conference following reports that police across Maine were alerted last month to “veiled threats” by Card, a 40-year-old U.S. Army reservist who on Wednesday night carried out the worst mass shooting in state history, but were not successful in tracking him down at the time.


That information is among new details to emerge about last week’s shootings and raises questions about what law enforcement knew about Card and whether the shootings could have been prevented.

Authorities on Monday also identified the three guns Card had on him of at the time of the shootings, including an AR-10 style Ruger SFAR rifle found in his vehicle, and said that a gun shop declined to sell a firearm suppressor, or silencer, to Card in August.

And a police chief in New Hampshire said that just days before the shootings Card was involved in an “altercation” with employees of a bakery outlet in New Hampshire while working for a third-party making deliveries.


The documents released by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office detail two reports the sheriff’s office received this year, in May and then September, concerning Card’s mental health.

In the first report, Card’s ex-wife and son reported that Card was experiencing paranoia and hearing voices. But they said they worried that the situation would be exacerbated if Card knew they had made a report to police, so the deputy who spoke with them agreed to contact Card’s commanding officer in the U.S. Army Reserve in hopes of getting him help that way.


The sheriff’s office also received a request for a wellness check from Card’s Army Reserve unit in Saco in September.

Deputies visited Card’s residence on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, according to a statement from Sheriff Joel Merry. After the first visit, when Card was not home, the sheriff’s office sent a File 6 – an attempt to locate teletype – to other law enforcement agencies.

Card’s car was located at his residence when an officer visited Sept. 16, but no one answered the door. He called for back-up from a Kennebec County sheriff’s deputy, and the two “attempted contact with Card without success,” according to a police report.

The sheriff’s office later made contact with Card’s brother, who said he would work to secure any firearms Card had access to, and the officer also asked that the family call back if they believed Card needed an evaluation or was a risk to himself or others.

“We believe that our agency acted appropriately and followed procedures for conducting an attempt to locate and wellness check,” Merry wrote in a statement.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said in an email Monday night that Maine State Police’s Access Integrity Unit houses Maine’s teletype system, which acts as a pass-through conduit where law enforcement agencies around the state can submit various teletypes to be automatically dispersed to authorized agencies. The process is automatic and does not involve case-by-case monitoring by AIU personnel, Moss said.


She said neither the Department of Public Safety nor any other state law enforcement agency requested a teletype on Card prior to the shootings on Wednesday.

“It should also be noted that no bulletins or assistance was requested from the Maine Information and Analysis Center,” Moss said.

She said questions about the actions of individual police departments should be directed to those departments.

At the State House news conference, Mills would not answer questions about what police knew when, saying instead that those questions are being looked into and will be answered in time.

“I think those questions are important,” Mills said. “I can assure you those questions will be answered in due course as the police conduct all appropriate interviews and determine the facts of this case. I trust the Maine State Police to undergo a thorough investigation of all aspects of the case.”

U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins said they are seeking answers about how Card may have fell through the cracks. As of Monday, they didn’t have any information beyond what has been reported in the media.


“I don’t have any more than what’s in open source, but I think that’s an area that really needs to be examined,” King said. “Were there flags that were missed?  That’s a fair question and I know there’s a lot of investigation going on into that.”

“We need to examine what precisely happened in this case in both New York, which has a red flag law, and in Maine, which has a yellow flag law,” said Collins, referring to time Card spent at West Point last summer.

According to the documents from the sheriff’s office, Card accused other U.S. Army Reserve soldiers of calling him a pedophile and shoved one of them while at West Point. He was referred to a psychiatric hospital where he spent 14 days and was then released.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions, and I don’t want to get into speculation at this point and I’m not trying to cast any blame here, but I expect there will be a review,” Collins said.


Meanwhile, other new information about Card also began to emerge Monday. Moss confirmed that police found an AR-10-style Ruger SFAR rifle in Card’s vehicle, along with a Smith & Wesson M&P .40 caliber handgun and a Smith & Wesson M&P rifle that were with him when he was found dead inside a trailer at Maine Recycling Corp. in Lisbon.


It’s too early to say which gun or guns were used in the shootings, though. “Forensic and ballistic testing still needs to be conducted to confirm whether these guns were used in the crimes,” Moss said.

Authorities have also confirmed that a gun shop declined to sell a silencer to Card in August after Card acknowledged he had mental health issues on a federal form.

Coastal Defense Firearms in Auburn told ABC News that Card had tried to purchase a gun suppressor there but was turned away because he checked off a box on some paperwork indicating he was recently in an institution. An employee at that shop told a Kennebec Journal reporter Monday “100% Card never bought a gun there.”

“He came in and filled out the form, he checked off a box that incriminated himself saying that he was in an institution,” Rick LaChapelle, owner of Coastal Defense Firearms and a Lewiston city councilor, told ABC news over the weekend. “Our staff was fantastic, let him finish filling out the form, and said, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Card, we cannot give you this… at this point in time, we cannot release this silencer to you because of the answers that you’ve given us.”


It took law enforcement around 48 hours from the time of the shootings to recover Card’s body in the trailer at Maine Recycling Corp.


Lisbon has publicly available property records online that could have tipped authorities within minutes that the recycling center owned property across the street. It does not appear state police, which led the manhunt, checked those records. At a news conference last week, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said the first they heard of the overflow lot is when the owner told them on Friday.

Police did not make contact with officials from the Lisbon Town Office, or Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds, while the search for Card was still underway, to inquire about what properties were owned by Maine Recycling Corp., one of which is where Card’s body was ultimately found, a short distance from where his car was located the night of the shooting, after days of searching across the state.

Police didn’t make contact with officials at the Lisbon Town Office, or county deeds, to seek property information in part because both those entities were shut down Thursday and Friday, as part of widespread closures during the search for Card.

Glenn Michalowski, town manager of Lisbon, said nobody contacted him, seeking information on what properties in town Maine Recycling owned, and the town office is closed so its unlikely other town officials were asked, either.

“We were closed due to the shelter in place order,” he said Monday. “No one would have been in the office to receive a call, but the assessor to her knowledge was not contacted. Only emergency personnel were in the office until we reopened this morning.”

Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds officials said they were also closed due to the shelter in place order, and thus hadn’t been contacted about the properties.


Police cleared the recycling company’s main address at 61 Lisbon Ave. at least twice on Thursday, Sauschuck said at the news conference held to announce Card’s body had been found.

“Nobody had any idea across the street, across the Capital Avenue, there’s an overflow parking lot which is recycling corporation property. So the owner was very diligent to say, ‘Did you clear those trailers?’ But what trailers are you talking about?” he said.

“So the follow up is with the tactical team commanders. To say, tell me exactly where you were at,” he added. “And they were doing the same thing. We were looking at our timeline, we cleared trailers, we didn’t clear those, let’s go back. So the Maine State Police tactical team were, ultimately, the ones that located the body within one of those trailers.”

Lisbon Police Chief Ryan McGee said law enforcement still has a lot of unanswered questions about what happened when Card fled his car and the ensuing timeline. Authorities are still waiting on an autopsy to determine how long Card had been dead before his body was discovered on Friday night, he said.

“Everybody can just jump to conclusions and assume he immediately left that car and immediately went to that location and immediately ended his life. But until they do an autopsy, we don’t know when he took his life, we don’t know when he ended up in that trailer,” McGee said.

“Two days went by, we had the area completely contained. We don’t know if he got to a point where he’s like, ‘Geez, there’s nowhere for me to go’ and he decided to end it. Because if he decided to end it, you have to question, ‘Why didn’t it happen right there in the parking lot in that boat ramp? Why did he go so far?'”



Just days before carrying out the shootings, police in New Hampshire said Card had an “altercation” with employees of a bakery outlet while on the job.

According to Tad Dionne, chief of police in Hudson, New Hampshire, the police department spoke to two employees of the Country Kitchen Thrift Store and Bakery Outlet in Hudson who “called us as soon as they saw images of Card on the news.”

“They mentioned having a verbal altercation with Card about five days earlier,” Dionne said. “We immediately documented what they told us and forwarded it to Maine State Police to assist them in any way.”

Card had been making deliveries to the bakery outlet in Hudson, which includes deliveries from LePage Bakeries in Lewiston, according to

It’s unclear what company Card was employed by, but a spokesperson for LePage Bakeries said “Card is not, and never has been, an employee of LePage Bakeries. He is employed by a third-party service provider used at our sites. We are cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement agencies in this ongoing investigation.”

A manager of the bakery outlet, who declined to be identified Monday, said they didn’t know much about the incident but confirmed a verbal altercation had taken place.

An employee who wished to remain anonymous told that Card had an “altercation with another employee” in the past week and was no longer employed by the company.

Press Herald staff writers Randy Billings, Kay Neufeld and Eric Russell; Kennebec Journal staff writers Emily Duggan and Keith Edwards; and Sun Journal staff writer Andrew Rice contributed to this report. 

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