A manhunt is underway for the suspect in a mass shooting in Maine that killed at least 18 people and wounded 13 others, officials said. The suspect, Robert Card, is a U.S. Army reservist who was among the best shooters in his unit, according to a former colleague.
The mass shooting unfolded in two locations in Lewiston on Wednesday evening: a bowling alley where a children’s league was taking place and a local bar, officials said. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office released a photo Tuesday night of the suspect brandishing a semi-automatic rifle at one of the locations.
The suspected gunman – identified as 40-year-old Robert Card – has been a U.S. Army reservist since December 2002, the Army confirmed. His current rank is as a sergeant first class and his job is a petroleum supply specialist. He has no combat deployments.
A U.S. Defense Department official confirmed to ABC News that Card was “behaving erratically” while deployed over the summer with his Army Reserve Unit to Camp Smith Training Center in upstate New York to support summer training for West Point cadets.
“Out of concern for his safety, the unit requested that law enforcement be contacted,” the official said.
“He was very proficient with firearms. He could hit anything he aimed at,” the colleague said.
The colleague also said Card was quiet and reserved and did not show any signs of mental illness or violence.
“I never saw him angry or upset. He seemed like a normal guy,” the colleague said.
Authorities found the suspect’s white Subaru at a location in Lisbon, several miles southeast of Lewiston, Wednesday night, sources said. The abandoned car was a critical piece of evidence in allowing police to focus on Card, multiple law enforcement officials told ABC News.
An arrest warrant has been issued against Card for eight counts of murder for the victims who have been identified so far, officials said. The arrest warrant will be updated when the other 10 victims are identified.
“Mr. Card is considered armed and dangerous, and police advise that Maine people should not approach him under any circumstances,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
“I know that we will be reviewing that information as we move forward, but that’s not an answer that we’re prepared to give today,” Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said.
The mass shooting has shocked and saddened the community of Lewiston, which has a population of about 36,000 people.
“This is an unprecedented tragedy for our city and our state,” Lewiston Mayor Jason Levesque said at the press briefing. “We are all grieving together.”
The mayor also urged residents to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.
“We are not going to let this coward win,” he said. “We are going to find him and bring him to justice.”
Anyone with information about Card’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Maine State Police at 207-624-7076. A reward of $50,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.