The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office received two reports about Robert Card’s mental health issues this year but failed to make contact with Card before he carried out the deadliest mass shooting in state history in Lewiston last week.

Maine Shooting

Robert Card Lewiston Maine Police Department

Members of Card’s family contacted the sheriff’s office in May stating that Card’s mental health had started to decline in January, Sheriff Joel Merry said in a statement issued Monday night. “They were concerned for his well being and said that Mr. Card had access to firearms,” Merry said.

New documents released by the sheriff’s office Monday night include a police report filed by Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chad Carleton, who said Card’s ex-wife and son told police they were worried about Card because he was hearing voices and experiencing paranoia.

“(Card’s ex-wife) said she is very worried about (their son) spending time with Robert, considering what may be a deteriorating mental health condition,” the report states. “(She) also told me that Robert had recently picked up 10-15 handguns/rifles that had previously been stored at his brother’s house.”

The family expressed concerns that the situation could be aggravated if Card knew they had gone to police. “The idea of contacting Robert’s command in the (U.S. Army Reserve) came up and everyone agreed this may be the best avenue to get Robert some help,” the police report said.

The deputy then spoke with representatives of the 3rd Battalion 304 Training Group. A sergeant who is also an Ellsworth police officer talked with Carleton at length about Card, the police report said, and said they would “start to figure out options to get Robert help.”


Carleton also spoke with Card’s brother, who said he was going to seek advice from his and Robert’s father. The brother said that just that day Card had been texting him about getting a lawyer “to deal with the people accusing him of being a pedophile.”

The following day, Card’s ex-wife also told Carleton that Card’s brother and sister had gone to visit him and he answered the door with a gun. But the ex-wife said the visit went well overall and Card had agreed to go see a doctor about the paranoia and voices he was hearing.

“(She) assured me that (Card’s siblings) were going to make sure Robert got to the doctor,” Carleton wrote.

In September, the sheriff’s office also received an email from Card’s U.S. Army Reserve unit in Saco asking for a wellness check.

A letter from the U.S. Army Reserve included in a police report said that, while at West Point in July, Card accused fellow soldiers of calling him a pedophile and shoved one of them. He was later sent to a psychiatric hospital where he spent 14 days and was released.

A friend of Card’s also reported that Card had told him he “has guns and is going to shoot up the drill center at Saco and other places,” according to the letter. It said the friend “is concerned that Card is going to snap and commit a mass shooting.”


The report, filed by Sgt. Aaron Skolfield, states that, “As of recent, it has come to the (Army Reserve’s) attention that Card is having psychotic episodes where he is hearing voices that are insulting him calling him a pedophile. Card is also making threats to shoot up the Saco (Army Reserve) facility.”

Deputies visited Card’s residence on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, according to Merry’s statement. 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 Skolfield 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 the police report.

“Card could be heard moving around inside the trailer but would not answer the door,” the report said. “Due to being in a very disadvantageous position we decided to back away.”

Skolfield then made contact with Card’s unit commander, who said Card no longer had any weapons from the reserve unit.

The commander said they were trying to get treatment for Card and he thought it would be best to let Card have time to himself, according to Merry’s statement.


On Sept. 17, Skolfield made contact with Card’s brother, who said he would work to secure any firearms Card had access to. Skolfield also asked that the family call back if they believed Card needed an evaluation or was a risk to himself or others.

The File 6 alert was canceled Oct. 18, Merry said.

In his statement Monday night, Merry said “our agency acted appropriately and followed procedures for conducting an attempt to locate and wellness check.”

“My office will evaluate our policies and procedures for how we conduct wellness checks with the goal of making any improvements that are in the interest of public safety while balancing the rights of individuals.”

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