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Tragedy strikes Maine as 18 lives lost, dozens injured in mass shooting

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In a horrifying and senseless act of violence, at least 18 individuals have lost their lives and up to 60 more have been left wounded after a gunman launched a series of shooting attacks in the northeastern state of Maine, United States.

The terrifying sequence of events began at approximately 7 pm (00:00 GMT) when the first of multiple shooting incidents was reported. Law enforcement initially received distressing calls regarding a shooter at a local bowling alley, where a children’s event was taking place.

Shortly thereafter, another shooting rampage unfolded at a nearby bar and grill. A third attack was reported at a Walmart Distribution Center just after 8 pm (01:00 GMT). As panic gripped the town, reports of a potential fourth shooting surfaced around 9 pm (02:00 GMT).

City Councilor Robert McCarthy disclosed to CNN that the death toll had tragically climbed from 16 to 22. He stated, “My understanding is that they have a tentative identification… of the shooter at the bowling alley, confirmed 22 dead, many, many more injured.”

The primary suspect, Robert Card, was identified by law enforcement authorities, and residents were urgently advised to remain indoors and secure their premises. Lewiston, with a population of approximately 39,000, found itself in a state of lockdown.

The Lewiston Police Department posted a photograph of Robert Card on its Facebook page, emphasizing the gravity of the situation, warning, “CARD should be considered armed and dangerous,” and urged the public not to approach or make contact with him.

Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck declared during a press conference, “We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case to locate Mr. Card, who is a person of interest.”

Information emerged that Card had received training as a firearms instructor at a US army reserve training center in Maine but had a history of mental health issues, including auditory hallucinations. The 40-year-old had spent two weeks in a mental health facility during the summer, according to the AP news agency.

Law enforcement released photos of a bearded man wearing a long-sleeved brown shirt and dark combat trousers, brandishing an assault rifle. They also shared an image of an abandoned white SUV with its doors ajar, soliciting information from the public.

“An active shooter is in Lewiston,” announced the Maine state police on the social media platform X. “We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations.”

Central Maine Medical Center’s website confirmed that their staff was responding to a mass casualty event involving a mass shooter and was collaborating with neighboring hospitals to care for patients.

The entire community remains in shock, struggling to come to terms with the horrifying events. Kathy Lebel, the owner of Schemengees Bar & Grille, described the night’s events as a sudden nightmare. She was not present at her establishment during the attack but recounted how a person entered and “started shooting,” causing panic among the staff.

The FBI field office in Boston expressed its readiness to provide victim support and investigative assistance. Lewiston, located about 35 miles north of Portland, Maine’s largest city, now grapples with the aftermath of this tragic incident.

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