(LEWISTON, Maine) — More details are emerging about the suspected gunman in the mass shooting that unfolded at a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston, Maine, killing at least 18 people.
The suspect — Robert Card, a 40-year-old U.S. Army reservist from Bowdoin — was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound two days after a massive manhunt at Maine Recycling, where he previously worked, officials said.
Arrest and search warrants for Card released this week offer more details into his declining mental health and why he may have targeted the two businesses — Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille — on Oct. 25.
Card’s brother told police that Card had been in a relationship for the past few months with someone he met at a cornhole competition at Schemengees, according to one of the arrest warrants. His brother went on to say that since the relationship ended Card started wearing hearing aids and “had been saying crazy things,” the arrest warrant affidavit stated.
One search warrant affidavit stated that the ex-girlfriend had two daughters. A person whose name was redacted from the document told law enforcement that Card would take the daughters out to eat and “that is where the pedophile thing in Robert’s head came from,” the affidavit stated. Card “felt that people were looking at him” when he was out with the two daughters, and “claimed that people were out to get him or were calling him a pedophile,” the affidavit stated.
Family members told authorities that Card “believed there was a conspiracy against him and people were accusing him of being a pedophile,” and that he believed businesses were “broadcasting online that Robert was a pedophile,” the arrest warrant affidavit stated. Those businesses included Schemengees and Sparetime Recreation (recently renamed to Just-In-Time Recreation), according to the affidavit.
“Robert also believed that his family was involved in the conspiracy,” the affidavit stated.
According to an affidavit related to a search warrant for information from Card’s phone, Card’s brother told authorities that he and his father tried to help his brother as much as they could but “Robert could not be reasoned with.”
Card agreed to have the code on his gun safe changed “for a period of time a few months ago,” but had a key to the safe and “had access to his firearms prior to the shootings,” the affidavit stated.
In the days following the shootings, authorities were working to gather information on all of Card’s firearm sales, transfers and purchases including ammunition, the documents show.
Three firearms were recovered from Card’s vehicle and on his body that appeared to have been purchased legally, officials said.
Amid the active manhunt, search applications also sought information on Card’s “pattern of life” leading up to the shootings — including who he had been talking to, locations he had been frequenting, any communications that discussed murder “or the motive or reasons for the crime of murder.”
One warrant specifically sought Card’s communications discussing businesses including Schemengees Bar, Sparetime Recreation and Maine Recycling, along with any language such as “pedophile” and “cornhole.”
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