Eighteen people were killed in a mass shooting at two locations in Lewiston, Maine, on the night of October 25, Gov. Janet Mills said – an attack that prompted a manhunt across the region as local, state and federal law enforcement officials searched for a gunman.
After a two-day manhunt, the man authorities identified as the shooter, Robert Card, was found dead Friday evening, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found near the Androscoggin River in the Maine community of Lisbon Falls – some 10 miles from Lewiston – state Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck told reporters.
Card, 40, was a certified firearms instructor and a member of the US Army Reserve, law enforcement officials in Maine told CNN. Before he was found dead, authorities had obtained an arrest warrant on multiple murder charges against him in connection to the shootings.
Here’s a timeline of how the shooting and the manhunt unfolded.
Around 7 p.m. October 25: 2 shootings are reported
Authorities received the first report at 6:56 p.m., Ross said, when the Auburn communications center got a call that a man was shooting at the Just-in-Time Recreation Center, a bowling alley in Lewiston.
The initial 911 call from Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley in Lewiston, came in at 6:56 p.m., Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said at a news conference on Friday.
Officers in plain clothes shooting at a nearby range heard the gunshots and responded to the scene immediately, Sauschuck said.
Lewiston officers arrived at the bowling alley within 4 minutes of the first call and state police officers arrived 11 minutes after the first call, according to Sauschuck.
At 7:08 p.m., authorities received multiple 911 calls about an active shooter at Schemengees Bar & Grille, Sauschuck said. State officers arrived at 7:10 p.m. and the first officers with Lewiston police arrived at 7:13 p.m., Sauschuck said.
“A large law enforcement response from the multiple surrounding agencies assisted the Lewiston Police Department in trying to identify who this individual was and what was happening,” Col. Ross told reporters. “As you can imagine, this was a very fast-paced, fast-moving, very fluid scene, very dangerous scene that these guys and girls were going into.”
The 18 people killed ranged in age from 14 to 76, authorities would later say. Seven were found at the bowling alley, Ross said. Eight were killed at Schemengees, with one victim found outside the restaurant. Three other deceased victims had been taken to local hospitals.
Nichoel Wyman Arel told CNN she and her daughter were headed home from a Girl Scouts meeting when they came upon the scene at the bowling alley, where she saw the lights of police vehicles and people running. She saw at least one person who looked to be covered in blood as well as children.
“Looking back, that was probably the hardest part, is seeing just families, families pouring out of there,” she said. “And knowing that that happened in there while they were just probably trying to have a family night.”
8:06 p.m.: Photos of a person of interest are released
The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was investigating two active shooter incidents about an hour later, when it also released photos of a person of interest in a post on Facebook.
Those images showed a man walking into what appeared to be a bowling alley, holding a high-powered, assault-style rifle.
8:09 p.m.: State Police order people to remain indoors
Minutes later, Maine State Police said there was “an active shooter in Lewiston,” and asked members of the public to stay inside with their doors locked.
“Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations,” state police said. “Again please stay off the streets and allow law enforcement to diffuse the situation.”
8:26 p.m.: Neighboring city urges residents to shelter in place
Just before 8:30 p.m., city officials in neighboring Auburn similarly urged residents to “shelter in place” in an alert shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter. The city sits directly to the west of Lewiston, across the Androscoggin River.
“ALL Auburn & Lewiston residents are strongly urged to shelter in place, lock all doors & report suspicious individuals and activities to 9-1-1,” the alert said.
9:17 p.m.: Police release image of a vehicle of interest
About two hours after receiving the first shooting reports, Lewiston Police released an image of a white vehicle in a post on Facebook, asking people to contact authorities if it was seen.
Maine State Police said the image showed a car belonging to a person of interest.
The image shared by Lewiston Police showed the vehicle, an SUV, with its lights on and its driver side door ajar.
9:20 p.m.: Card is identified as a suspect
Authorities identified Card as a suspect in the shooting and responders were given information about his vehicle, including a registration number, according to a timeline of events released by the Maine State Police.
An earlier timeline released by state officials said the Lewiston Police Department received a call at 9:26 p.m. identifying Card as the man in the photos released earlier that evening.
9:56 p.m.: Vehicle is found
Half an hour later, police in Lisbon –- about 8 miles southeast of Lewiston -– informed Lewiston police they had found a white Subaru at Pejepscot Boat Launch, per the state’s timeline. It was confirmed to belong to Card.
10:37 p.m.: Authorities find rifle in vehicle
Dozens of officers surrounded Card’s vehicle, until tactical teams arrived and confirmed the suspect was not in it. Inside the car, authorities found a rifle and magazines, according to the timeline from Maine State Police.
10:52 p.m.: Authorities name “person of interest”
Lewiston Police later announced, again on Facebook, that it was trying to locate Card “as a person of interest” in the shootings at Schemengees Bar and the bowling alley.
“CARD should be considered armed and dangerous,” said the post included alongside an image of Card. “Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts.”
Around 11:30 p.m.: Officials expand shelter in place order
Sauschuck held a news conference late Wednesday, beginning just after 11:30 p.m., where he said authorities were expanding the shelter in place order to include Lisbon, and the city separately confirmed around the same time that its offices would be closed Thursday.
“We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case, to locate Mr. Card, who, again, is a person of interest, and a person of interest only,” Sauschuck said.
The scale of the investigation was large, Sauschuck indicated, saying there were “multiple scenes in the city, to include multiple hospitals.” Investigators were following up on leads and speaking with witnesses, Sauschuck said.
At roughly midnight, October 26: Authorities begin notifying families
At about 12:01 a.m., authorities began notifying families of the victims who have been positively identified, according to the state police timeline.
3:13 a.m.: Shelter in place advisory expands to Bowdoin
Maine State Police early Thursday morning expanded the shelter in place advisory to include the town of Bowdoin, about 15 miles southeast of Lewiston and approximately nine miles east of Lisbon.
“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,” state police said in a post on Facebook.
By Thursday morning, a number of school districts had announced they would be closed due to the manhunt, including those in Lewiston and the public schools in Portland – the state’s largest city, some 35 miles south of Lewiston.
Hannaford Supermarkets, a major grocery store chain in the northeast, said it would keep all of its stores in Maine closed until at least 10 a.m.
7:45 p.m. October 27: Authorities find Card’s body
Card was found dead around 7:45 p.m. Friday along the Androscoggin River in the Lisbon Falls area, about 10 miles from Lewiston, Sauschuck told reporters Friday. The body was found in an unlocked box truck in the overflow parking lot of a recycling center from which he had recently been fired, according to Sauschuck.
Two firearms were found alongside the gunman’s body and police have concluded he shot himself, Sauschuck said.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills said she is “breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that … Card is no longer a threat to anyone.”
“Now is a time to heal,” Mills said. “Tonight, the city of Lewiston and the state of Maine begin to move forward on a long road to healing.”
CNN’s Nouran Salahieh, Andy Rose, and Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.
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