Loud bangs were heard at the home of Maine mass shooter Robert Card’s parents on Thursday evening, with the FBI encircling the property and demanding anyone inside come out.
The road to the rural home was blocked and police using megaphones said: ‘FBI – open the door. FBI – come out now.’
Card, 40, has been on the run since murdering 18 people on Wednesday night in Lewiston, 15 miles from his Bowdoin home.
It emerged on Thursday he may have been searching for his ex at the bowling alley and bar where he opened fire.
Shannon Moss, a spokesman for Maine state police, said that the activity at the Bowdoin property was ‘part of the investigation’, and said no gunshots were fired.
‘Law enforcement is at a home in Bowdoin as part of the investigation into the Lewiston shootings and the search for Robert Card,’ she said.
‘When it’s appropriate to do so additional information will be released.’
His sister told law enforcement officials the 40-year-old Army reserve firearms instructor could have targeted Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston in the hope of finding her, ABC reported.
Court documents show his ex-wife filed for divorce in 2007 and they were granted joint custody of their child – though it’s unclear whether she is his most recent ex.
Card is still on the run and considered armed and dangerous after he carried out the year’s deadliest shooting at around 7pm on Wednesday. It’s feared he may have fled on a boat he owns.
Opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle, he killed at least 18 people while injuring 13 more before fleeing. As the multi-agency search for the armed fugitive enters its 22nd hour, cops have also uncovered a cryptic note at his Bowdoin home.
Maine mass shooter Robert Card left a note at his home which cops have now found. Its contents have not been disclosed but it is said to be steering the hunt for the killer
An aerial view of law enforcement personnel at the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant after deadly mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine
Four law enforcement sources told NBC New York that police are poring over the meaning of the letter, though the contents or date of writing have not been disclosed.
Officials were seen wheeling a victim in a body bag out of Schemengees the next morning as police combed the area for Card, who is charged with multiple murder counts.
The death toll could climb as many victims remain in critical conditions at area hospitals.
It comes after his sister-in-law Katie Card revealed that he heard voices at the bowling alley and bar where he went on to launch his deadly attack, and had been struggling with ‘an acute episode of mental health’.
His relatives have been frantically texting him, pleading with him to surrender to police.
‘I have known Rob my whole life,’ his sister-in-law Katie Card told the Daily Beast on Thursday.
‘He is quiet but the most loving, hardworking, and kind person that I know. But in the past year, he had an acute episode of mental health, and it’s been a struggle.’
She added that Card told his family that he could hear voices criticizing him while he was in the bar and bowling alley.
‘He truly believed he was hearing people say things,’ she added. ‘This all just happened within the last few months.’
The search for Card has entered its 22nd hour as authorities comb vast swaths of woodland in Maine – and he may even have crossed into Massachusetts or escaped by boat
Suspected Maine shooter Robert Card (pictured) heard voices before he launched the deadly attack which killed at least 18 people, according to his sister-in-law
A woman is hugged by a man at a reunification center at Auburn Middle School after shootings in Lewiston
Card’s former army colleague Clifford Steeves said he never witnessed any concerning behavior from him during the decade they served together.
‘He was a very nice guy — very quiet,’ Steeves, of Massachusetts, told CNN.
‘He never overused his authority or was mean or rude to other soldiers. It’s really upsetting.’
Steeves said they served in Wisconsin, Georgia and New York, and he feels like he has ‘grown up’ with Card because they did their army training together as young men.
He added that while ‘aggressive leadership was very prominent’ in the Army, Card was known for being a ‘rational, understanding person’ who ‘led through respect rather than fear’.
Steeves said Card was ‘an outdoors type of guy’ who had been through thorough firearms and land navigation training, so he would have little problem hiding out in woodland areas. He added that Card was one of the best shooters in their unit.
Card is from Bowdoin, and his car was found abandoned in Lisbon shortly after the shooting.
The incident has left at least 18 people dead and 13 more injured, meaning it is believed to be the deadliest mass shooting of 2023. It also marks the 34th mass killing involving more than four victims in the US this year.
Investigators are desperately searching for Card, who fled the scene on Wednesday night, and his car was found in the town of Lisbon.
Audio from police dispatchers suggested that he may have crossed the border to Massachusetts, but Massachusetts State Police have said that claim is unsubstantiated.
Card has been charged with multiple murder counts after the bloody massacre at Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, around 7pm on Wednesday
A distraught Maine councilor has said he knows his son is among the dead – though authorities are yet to confirm – while a 10-year-old girl has spoken about being grazed by a stray bullet.
Leroy Walker, whose son managed Schemengees, said he is convinced his son is dead.
‘If you had my gut right now, I feel like I’m squashed with a vice,’ the Auburn councilor told NBC. ‘My neck in the back of my head feels like there’s a vice squashing it the other way.’
‘And I don’t know, telling you the truth, what kind of night this is going to be from now until tomorrow when I wake up to the true facts that my son is dead – and I know he’s dead.
‘I know it as well as I know I’m standing here telling you because he’s not here and he’s not at any other hospital and he’s not running the streets or he would have called us, because he manages Schemengees, so I know he was there.’
Meanwhile, 10-year-old Zoey questioned ‘why do people do this’ as she sat beside her mother the morning after they survived the shocking attack at the bowling alley as their city remains on lockdown.
‘I never thought I’d grow up and get a bullet in my leg,’ Zoey told CNN. ‘Like, why do people do this?
‘I was more worried about, like, am I going to live and I going to make it out of here. Like, what’s going to happen? Are the cops going to come?’
A distraught Maine councilor has said he knows his son is among the dead – though authorities are yet to confirm – while a 10-year-old girl has spoken about being grazed by a stray bullet
Card used an AR-15-style rifle to open fire inside the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley at about 7pm Wednesday before targeting Schemengees Bar and Grille around four miles away
Mom Meghan Hutchinson said her daughter was ‘grazed by a bullet’ amid the terrifying rampage.
‘She was grazed by a bullet while we were running,’ Hutchinson told ABC.
‘We were in the back room. Another child came in whose arm had a massive – was bleeding profusely.
‘So we barricaded in there and another parent was in the room with me. She had a phone and she called 911.’
Another Lewiston mom, Riley Dumont, was in the bowling alley with her daughter, and her parents, including her retired police officer father who leapt into action and saved several people’s lives.
‘I heard a really loud bang. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but my dad looked at me,’ Dumont told ABC.
‘Next thing I know, he was just taking the group that we were in and just corralling us in the corner,’ she said.
‘He put tables over us and just made sure we were safe. He just kind of went into action at that point. It felt like it lasted forever.’
‘I kind of laid on top of (my daughter), and my mom was kind of on top of me. We had two other kids with us and two other mothers as well.’
Justin Karcher, 23, is on a ventilator in ICU after the shooting, according to his mother Jessica Karcher.
Doctors have to ‘keep resuscitating him’ following emergency surgery, she told the Washington Post. ‘He’s not out of the woods.’
She added that Justin witnessed his father being gunned down in a Walmart parking lot in July 2019.
‘His father passed away in front of him,’ Karcher said. ‘My head is pounding,’ she added. ‘I just called the hospital for an update. And of course, they don’t have one.’
Relatives of the 40-year-old Army reserve firearms instructor have also been frantically texting him pleading with him to surrender. Meanwhile, officials have been photographed moving a victim in a body bag from one of the crime scenes
Maine Police Colonel William G. Ross said that seven of the victims were found at the Just-In-Time bowling alley: one female and six males, all suffering apparent gunshot wounds.
Another eight victims were found at Schemengees Bar and Grille: seven males were discovered inside and one outside, all also with apparent bullet wounds.
Many more people were rushed to area hospitals, where some were pronounced dead.
The shooter used an AR-15-style rifle to open fire inside the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley at about 7pm Wednesday before targeting Schemengees Bar and Grille around four miles away.
Lewiston, a small city of about 38,000, is on lockdown as police hunt for Card who was sectioned this summer with mental health issues. He previously reported hearing voices and threatened to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.
‘Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal work to locate Robert Card who is a person of interest in the Lewiston shootings,’ Maine State police said on Facebook.
Lisbon Chief of police Ryan McGee has called the entire police department to assist in the search and closed local businesses.
A heavy police presence is outside the Central Maine Medical Center on Thursday morning, with police standing at every entrance with high powered rifles. The hospital is under lock down and no visitors are allowed.
The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal agents have joined the search.
Detectives said they are looking into cellphone signals, social media and electronic records to build a timeline of his movements before the shooting.