A full blown active federal, state, local, regional manhunt is on to locate and apprehend Robert Card, 40, for the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday night.
The search continued through Wednesday night and into Thursday morning when the Governor, local law enforcement and the FBI held a press conference in Lewiston.
Law enforcement officials are partnering with the media to get the facts out to the public, ask them for help, and put them on notice that a full lockdown is still operable.
Officials held back answering all of the media’s questions because the investigation is still early and ongoing with Clark still on the run.
The shootings began around 7pm. Lockdowns went into effective around 8pm.
The shootings took place at two locations, a local bar and a billiards hall in a recreational center just a few miles down the road from the bar.
“The suspect is considered armed and dangerous,” said Maine Governor Janet Mills at the press conference. The governor grew up in the Lewiston community.
Although not all media questions were answered, here are the facts so far.
Robert Card is no longer a “person of interest,” as he was on Wednesday.
As of Thursday, Clark is a “suspect.” He used an assault rifle. It is believed to be an AR-15.
Lewiston Maine’s Police Chief clarified the numbers of those dead and injured so far.
Law enforcement can firmly report as of now, “18 have died” and “13 more injured.” Three of those are in critical condition. Some were injured from a stampede.
Card shot seven dead inside the bar and one outside. Then he moved on and down the road to the pool hall, where he shot seven more, and three others died in a local hospital.
An arrest warrant has been issued against Clark.
He has been charged with eight counts of murder to date because only eight bodies have been identified officially. The other ten dead victims have not been officially identified.
But, Clark’s eight counts of murder will rise to 18 when all of the victims’ bodies have been identified officially.
That leaves 13 other injured who are in hospitals, and if any of those victims die, the murder count will rise.
Clark is from Maine. He was born in 1983.
He served in the military for about 20 years, but was never deployed, only in the reserves.
He has served as a firearm instructor.
His car was abandoned and identified at a boat landing in Lisbon, Maine, not far from Lewiston, where the search expanded late into Wednesday night.
Maine’s Attorney General will oversee his prosecution.
Police have asked for the public’s help and advised anyone who spots Clark “not to approach him,” but to call 911.
Clark is “armed and dangerous,” said law enforcement.
There is a “coordinated effort to search for and apprehend Clark.”
Because the investigation is “ongoing and in its early stages,” law enforcement was not able to offer answers to all of the media’s questions.
For instance, they could not tell the public how many victims were under 18 years of age or older than 18 at this time or what triggered these shootings.
It is a very difficult time and fluid situation for the Lewiston community and neighboring towns and counties.
The Department of Education is involved with schools still closed.
“We are all working hand-in-hand providing investigative and tactical support and working with victims affected by this tragedy,” said Jodie Cohen, the Agent-in-Charge out of the FBI’s Boston division.
Cohen pledged to “get answers” for the public. Law enforcement from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont are supporting Maine’s law enforcement teams on the ground.
The rumors from the night before from Clark being a registered sex offender to having been recently in a mental health institution, threatening to shoot up the National Guard, and who Clark may have been looking for at the bar and bowling alley where he shot victims are questions that law enforcement are “not prepared to discuss” at this time.
Clark is believed to be a local firearm instructor and to have served in the military for 20 years.
The police are asking the public to be on alert, lock their doors, and if Clark is spotted to call 911..
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