Robert Card was a frequent customer at Gowell’s Shop ‘n Save in Litchfield. It was one of four businesses Card had accused of spreading lies about him, but it was spared violence directed at two Lewiston businesses. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

While two Lewiston businesses will forever be linked to the deadliest mass shooting in Maine history, two others have been spared, if only by chance.

An arrest affidavit for Lewiston shooter Robert Card that was unsealed this week suggests he might have considered targeting two other businesses that were close to where he lived.

In addition to Just-in-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille in Lewiston, Card falsely believed two additional businesses – Gowell’s Shop ‘n Save in Litchfield and Mixers Nightclub & Lounge and Sabattus – were broadcasting online that he was a pedophile, documents show.

Card entered Just-in-Time and Schemengees back to back on the evening of Oct. 25 and killed 18 people. He later took his own life.

There was chatter online the night of the shootings that he might go to other businesses and continue the attacks. It may never be known why the other two locations were spared, although one of them – Mixers – was closed that day.

The 40-year-old Card had been having psychotic episodes and was hearing voices in the weeks and months that led up to the shooting. Family, friends and members of a Saco-based Army Reserve unit who served with Card alerted police, first in May and again in September, about his increasingly erratic behavior and paranoia, including specific concerns that he might carry out a mass shooting. Card also was a committed to a psychiatric hospital in New York for two weeks last summer.


The release of the arrest affidavit Tuesday shed more light on Card’s mental health, including confirmation that he had gone through a bad breakup and had started using hearing aids, which seemed to coincide with him claiming to hear voices.

Of the four businesses mentioned in that document, the two in Lewiston where the shootings occurred were farthest from his house in Bowdoin.

Mixers Nightclub & Lounge in Sabattus was one of four businesses Robert Card accused of spreading lies about him online. It was closed the day Card opened fire at two Lewiston businesses. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Mixers Nightclub & Lounge in Sabattus is less than 8 miles from where Card lived, about a 12-minute drive. The establishment has billiards and darts and offers live music or DJs playing music Thursdays through Sunday. It was closed on Wednesday, the night of the shootings, and no employees were there.

The other business named in court documents, Gowell’s Shop ‘n Save in Litchfield, is just five minutes from Card’s residence. It was open until 8 p.m. last Wednesday, which is about an hour after he entered the bowling alley in Lewiston.

Card was a regular at the grocery store, and one of the shooting victims at Schemengees, Ron Morin, was a salesman at Gowell’s.

Gowell’s manager, David Laponte, said Card had visited the store to buy groceries the day before the shootings and the Sunday before that.


“I saw his pictures (posted by police after the shootings), and I was like, ‘He looks familiar,’ ” Laponte said.

Laponte doesn’t remember what Card bought on either of the days he came to the store last week. He just recalled seeing him in passing and did not interact with him.

“He was just like any other person coming in to buy stuff. There was no indication that he was going to do what he did,” Laponte said.

Laponte called Morin “a good friend.”

“We used to run into each other all the time. We played fantasy football. It’s very, very sad,” he said.

When told that his grocery store was one of the places of interest listed in the affidavits released by the authorities, Laponte said that he takes the information “with a grain of salt.”


“Nowadays, nothing is surprising,” he said. “It’s business as usual. My wife tells me, ‘You need to quit, you can’t work at the store in the middle of the night all by yourself.’ And I tell her, ‘It’s OK. If it comes to that, I will carry (a gun) every day.’ ”

Messages left for the owners of Mixers were not returned Wednesday, but the business posted on its Facebook page late last Wednesday after news of the shootings broke.

“With all the chatter on scanners, news and social media, we are fielding lots of calls and messages. We want to first let everyone know we are not open on Wednesday nights so no one is at the bar tonight. The staff is all home. We appreciate the thoughts and people looking out for us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected by this tragedy tonight. Hug your loved ones tight people.”

Mixers is known mostly as a live music venue and gathering place for drinks.

David Singer played a gig at Mixers with his band, The Lit Council, on Oct. 21, four days before the shooting.

“It really is a gem of a venue that hosts all sorts of events and bands that you would expect to find in a larger city,” Singer wrote in an email. “Like many who live in Lewiston, I was monitoring social media and scanner traffic the night of the shootings. When I came across unconfirmed reports at the time that he was potentially targeting Mixers, my stomach sank. Then when I read the confirmed reportage from the affidavits that it was in fact a place of business that investigators believed he might have targeted, it gave me chills.

“We are still going to go out and play and support these businesses. We have to. These places are our community. They have our backs and we’re going to have theirs.”

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Aryan Rai contributed to this story

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