Suspected Maine shooter Robert R. Card found dead after manhunt

The man suspected of killing 18 people and wounding 13 in a shooting rampage in Lewiston, Maine, has been found dead, ending a 48-hour manhunt.

ABC News, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said the suspect, Robert R. Card, 40, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Card’s body was found in the woods near Lisbon city close to a recycling centre from which he had recently been fired, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.

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Police in Maine had scoured the woods and hundreds of acres of private property and sent dive teams to the bottom of the Androscroggin River in the second day of the search for the Army reservist.

The names and pictures of the 16 males and two females who died were earlier released as State Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck asked for a moment of silence at a news conference.

Robert Card has been found dead. Credit: AP

The victims ranged in age from 14 to 76, and included four members of the deaf community.

Part of the search played out on live television on Thursday night when officials executed several search warrants in the neighbouring town of Bowdoin, where Card lived.

Sauschuck said at a press conference on Friday that a note was found during the search, but declined to say who wrote it or what it said.

Lewiston, a former textile hub of 38,000 people, and neighbouring communities have been largely shut down since the Wednesday evening attacks to enable hundreds of officers to conduct the search.

Colleges and public schools in the area cancelled classes for a second day.

Police officers stop to question a driver at a roadblock, during a manhunt for the suspect of Wednesday’s mass shootings. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP

There were almost no cars on the roads, just a few people outside, and many businesses in downtown Lewiston were closed.

Security agents with rifles and bulletproof vests guarded the hospital where many of the shooting victims were taken.

Officials said 13 other people were injured by gunfire.

Authorities lifted their shelter in place order for residents on Friday evening, nearly 48 hours after the shootings.

Card, 40, was a sergeant at a nearby US Army Reserve base who law enforcement officials said had been temporarily committed to a mental health facility over the summer.

On the night of the shootings, Maine State Police found a white SUV they believe Card used to get away parked at a boat launch on the Androscoggin River in Lisbon, about 11km to the southeast of Lewiston.

The bloodshed rattled towns throughout Androscoggin County as residents joined the growing list of US communities to suffer from a gun massacre.

The gunman seen entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday. Credit: AP

The number of people killed in Wednesday’s attacks is close to the annual number of homicides that normally occur in Maine, which has fluctuated between 16 and 29 since 2012, according to Maine State Police.

Guns are lightly regulated in Maine, where about half of all adults live in a household with a firearm, according to a 2020 study by RAND Corporation.

Maine does not require a permit to buy or carry a gun, and it does not have so-called “red flag” laws seen in some other states that allow law enforcement to temporarily disarm people deemed to be dangerous.

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