Person of interest had recently threatened to shoot up Maine National Guard base, bulletin says
Maine law enforcement officials said late tonight that they are looking for a 40-year-old man named Robert Card, whom they identified as a “person of interest” in the fatal shootings at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston.
A bulletin put out by the Maine Information and Analysis Center, a database for law enforcement officials, said Card was a trained firearms instructor and was believed to be in the Army Reserve.
It added that law enforcement said Card “recently reported mental health issues to include hearing voices and threats to shoot up the National Guard Base in Saco, ME.”
The bulletin said Card was reported to have been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks this summer and then released. NBC News has not been able to independently verify the bulletin’s statements about Card’s history.
Vehicle being sought after shooting is found in Lisbon, Maine
A vehicle that was sought after the shooting incidents in Lewiston was found in the town of Lisbon a short distance away, the state public safety commissioner said.
The hunt for the gunman is ongoing. A “person of interest” has been identified in the shooting, but he has not been called a suspect.
A shelter-in-place order remained for Lewiston and now is also in place for Lisbon, which is around 7 miles southeast of Lewiston, Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said.
Patrons at a bar and grill were likely playing cornhole when gunfire erupted on what should've been a quiet Wednesday night, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine said.
"It's such a sad night," Pingree told "The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle." "Our hearts are broken for everybody who thought they were going out bowling, thought they were going out to dinner."
Despite Maine's high gun ownership rate, this kind of bloodshed is virtually unprecedented in America's most northeastern state, according to Pingree.
"We're just not used to these kinds of things in Maine," she said.
Maine Medical Center prepares for 'potential patient transports'
Maine Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center, created critical care and operating room capacity as it prepares to take in patients who were shot in Lewiston, the hospital said in a statement.
"Out of an abundance of caution and due the dynamic nature of this situation, MMC and other MaineHealth hospitals have closed their campuses to non-hospital personnel and non-patients until further notice," the hospital said.
"MaineHealth and Maine Medical Center express their deepest sympathies to those impacted by this tragedy," it added.
Lewiston police name person of interest in shootings
The Lewiston Police Department named Robert Card, 40, as a "person of interest" in the shootings at a bar and a bowling alley tonight.
Card "should be considered armed and dangerous. Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts," the police department said on Facebook.
Biden pledges full federal support after shooting in Lewiston
Biden called Gov. Janet Mills and members of Congress about the shooting in Lewiston, a senior White House official said.
Biden called Mills, Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Rep. Jared Golden and offered full federal support in the wake of "this horrific attack," the official said.
Waiting outside hospital for word about loved ones
A woman outside Central Maine Medical Center was among those waiting to find out what happened to their loved ones after the mass shooting in Lewiston.
“My ex-husband and my son were playing pool at Schemengees,” the woman told NBC affiliate WCSH. She then learned about the shooting on social media but has learned very little since.
She and others went to the hospital. “We’re all waiting, and we’ve heard nothing,” she said.
'We have everybody on board right now,' mayor of adjacent Auburn says
The mayor of Auburn, Maine, tonight urged people in his city, Lewiston and the surrounding region to shelter in place and assured them that "we will get this situation settled."
"We have everybody on board right now, from state, local and federal officials working on this," Mayor Jason Levesque said on NBC News Now in a phone interview.
The violence in Lewiston is "completely unusual" for Maine and the area, he said. The two cities — Auburn, with a population of around 26,000, and Lewiston, around 35,000 — are separated by a river, Levesque said.
“I can’t go to the grocery store without running into someone who's complaining about a pothole,” Levesque said.
“It may seem insignificant at this point in time when we’re talking about this situation, but that’s how close this community is,” he said.
Police are said to believe they know identity of shooting suspect
Police believe they know who the shooting suspect is, NBC News chief justice contributor Jonathan Dienst said on-air.
"They believe they have him identified, and they are actively seeking him and the vehicle they believe he’s driving,” Dienst said in an NBC News special report about the shooting.
“They have a pretty good idea who this suspect is,” Dienst said. a source said the person may have a criminal history, he said.
"But as per motive, there is no indication as to why this shooting has taken place," Dienst said.
Bulletins and briefings to various law enforcement agencies have had different numbers of deaths, he said.
U.S. attorney general is briefed and monitoring
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed and is following developments, a Justice Department spokesperson said.
“The attorney general has been briefed and will continue to closely monitor the situation. Federal law enforcement agencies are assisting our state and local law enforcement partners in Lewiston, Maine,” spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said.