Here’s What You Need to Know About the Manhunt for the Maine Mass Shooter

Investigators are dedicating significant resources to searching for the shooter’s body in the river close to where his car was found.
Law enforcement officials conduct a manhunt for suspect Robert Card following a mass shooting on October 27, 2023 in Monmouth, Maine. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Law enforcement in Maine have maps, they have a QR code, and they have hundreds of tips they’re sifting through. But more than 24 hours after a gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and a billiards hall, leaving 18 dead, they still do not have anyone in custody. 

At a press conference Friday morning, Maine’s Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Sauschuck said that local, county, state, and federal investigators had been working around the clock to determine the whereabouts of 40-year-old army reservist Robert Card, who they’ve identified as the suspect in Wednesday night’s mass killing in Lewiston. 


Sauschuck said that residents can expect to see a huge law enforcement presence around the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lisbon, Maine—about eight miles from Lewiston—where police discovered the suspect’s abandoned Subaru. 

Investigators are trying to rule out the possibility that the suspect took his own life following his deadly rampage, and are dedicating significant resources to searching for his body in the Androscoggin River. A letter addressed to his son was found at Card’s home, and has been described as a “suicide note,” according to reports. 

Sauschuck said that “air resources”—small planes and helicopters—will fly over the river to see if they can spot anything from an aerial view. Typically, the water is clear enough that you can see to the bottom, though that can change based on the current and how muddy the water is, he said. 

Local dam operators, who control the flow of the water, have agreed to tighten the dam up, which means slowing the current down and lowering the amount of water in the river. 

They’ll also use sonar systems and dive teams to search the river beds, and officers will search along the shores. 

“Clearly, we don’t have him located at this point, we don’t have him in custody,” said Sauschuck. “The river is a big piece of this.” His car was discovered parked by the boat launch, and Sauschuck said that “evidence was located along the shores.” The suspect also owns a 15-foot lake boat. 


Sauschuck says that “there’s a bunch more” locations that police will be searching on Friday. “We’re going to be all over the place,” he said. On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard joined the hunt and began searching waterways. 

On Thursday evening, police from different agencies executed search warrants at several properties in Bowdoin, about 15 miles from Lewiston, that were linked to the suspect or his family. The presence of armored vehicles, SWAT teams, sounds of flash bangs, and messages like “You are under arrest” booming through PA systems outside those properties initially led the media to believe that investigators had potentially located Card. 

Sauschuck said that media can expect to see similar scenes play out at other locations in the area on Friday, and that Thursday’s spectacle was due to agencies exercising “best practices.” 

“We do look at all these situations as if the individual could be in there. You’ll see tactical teams at some points,” said Sauschuck. “You’ll see people in the woods, crawlin’ around.” 

A shelter-in-place order remains in effect for Lewiston, Lisbon, Bowdoin and Auburn. 

“Every minute this goes on, we’re more and more concerned,” said Sauschuck. “What’s the next thing that’s going to happen? We understand that. That’s why we’re working 24/7, to bring closure and safety to our communities.”

As the hunt for the suspect continues, details about his victims are beginning to trickle out. As of Friday morning, nine of the 18 victims had been identified. Among them were Bill Brackett and Steven Vozzella, who were participating in a meet-up for deaf people and playing cornhole at Schemengees Bar and Grill, the second shooting location. So far, all the victims identified by name are adults, but the local school system has told WMTV that a high schooler and his father were also killed. 

The suspect’s motive remains unclear. He had struggled with mental health issues and was admitted to a psychiatric facility over the summer, according to a bulletin issued Wednesday night by the Maine Information Analysis Center. His sister-in-law, Katie Card, told NBC that his condition had significantly deteriorated recently, causing family members to warn police and military officials that he was experiencing an “acute” mental health episode. Katie Card also told NBC that he’d recently been fitted for high-powered hearing aids, and he’d started  “picking up voices that he had never heard” and was “humiliated by the things that he thought were being said.” The suspect’s sister told investigators that she believed Card could have been looking for an ex-girlfriend at the shooting locations, ABC reported

The U.S. Army said that the suspect enlisted in 2002, and worked as a petroleum supply specialist at the Army Reserve base in Saco, about 50 miles south of Lewiston, and had never been deployed in combat. The Maine Information Analysis Center’s bulletin also described him as a “trained firearms instructor” and said he’d recently made threats to shoot up the Army Reserve base in Saco. 

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