Maine shooter's body was found near a scene that had been searched by police
Authorities in Maine said Saturday that the body of the suspect in Wednesday's mass shooting in Lewiston, 40-year old Robert Card, was found inside a trailer close to a recycling center Friday evening.
A self-inflicted gunshot wound was the apparent cause of his death, after a two-day manhunt prompted by the latest U.S. mass shooting — at a bowling alley and bar — that left 18 people dead and 13 wounded.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck said nearby trailers had previously been cleared twice by police teams, before another state police team responding to concerns by the site's owner had found Card's body alongside two guns inside a trailer in an overspill car park.
Sauschuck told reporters in Lewiston that police had recovered another weapon, that he called a "long gun," inside the suspect's car, but did not provide further details on the weapon.
A note found during the investigation had been addressed by Card to a "loved one," Sauschuck said, and though it was not an explicit suicide note, it did include access codes to his bank accounts and a cellphone that investigators are currently trying to examine.
On Friday, police released the names of all 18 victims of the Wednesday night gun rampage that devastated the community. The dead ranged in age from a couple in their 70s to a teenage boy.
The city's police chief told Maine Publicthat he and some of his officers knew some of the victims or their families, given the close-knit nature of the community in the state's second largest city.
"Seeing these pictures come up on the board, I know a couple of them myself," said Lewiston Police Chief David St. Pierre, speaking at a news conference Friday with the photos of the victims shown on a screen behind him.
A moment of silence was observed while authorities read out the names of the dead, and showed photos provided by their relatives.
Maine public safety officials announcedthat the body of the sole alleged shooter had been found dead near the local Androscoggin River, in the small town of Lisbon Falls, about 10 miles southeast of Lewiston.
Officials express relief after the massive manhunt ends
Local and state officials expressed relief after law enforcement had scoured several local communities that were placed on lock down, with shelter-in-place orders issued to all residents and Card described as armed and dangerous.
Across rural areas of the most forested state in the nation, hundreds of officers from various local forces and agencies had been called up to help in the search for the suspect.
People will now be able to gather in person for the first time since the shooting to hold events like vigils, which had only been taking place online due to that active manhunt.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills said that it was now "a time to heal," while acknowledging that though Card might no longer pose a threat, there would be many people for whom his death would "not bring solace."
After she had informed the White House of the suspect's death, President Biden issued a statement calling the episode a "tragic two days" for the entire country as well as the city of Lewiston.
"Once again, an American community and American families have been devastated by gun violence," Biden's statement added, before referring to the actions he said Republicans in Congress must make to help end the country's gun violence epidemic. "Americans should not have to live like this."
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