Tragic Maine shooting claims 22 lives, injures 60 in US city of Lewiston

The suspect has been identified as 40-year-old Robert Card of Bowdoin

NEW DELHI | Updated: 26 October, 2023 1:08 pm IST
Police have identified Robert Card as the main suspect in the mass shooting in Maine

NEW DELHI: In a devastating incident that has sent shockwaves across the US, at least 22 people lost their lives, and over 60 others were injured in a series of multiple shootings in the state of Maine on Wednesday night. The shootings occurred at two separate locations – a bowling alley and a restaurant, both in Maine’s second-most populous city, Lewiston, as per an AFP report.

The horrifying events unfolded at approximately 6:56 PM local time (4:26 AM IST on Thursday), with a lone gunman opening fire at the Sparetime Recreation on Mollison Way and the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant on Lincoln Street. Local law enforcement swiftly labelled the situation as an active shooter incident.

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The suspect has been identified as 40-year-old Robert Card of Bowdoin, and his photograph, along with that of the vehicle believed to have been used in the attack, has been released by the local police. In the images, Card is seen wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans, sporting a beard while holding a rifle in the firing position.

Robert Card, a firearms instructor with military training, had reportedly been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during the summer of 2023. He had received firearms training at a US Army Reserve facility in Maine, as reported by CNN, citing law enforcement sources.

Maine State Police confirmed on social media that the shooter remains at large, and investigations are ongoing across multiple locations. The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning around 8 PM, sharing an image of the gunman entering an establishment with a weapon raised to his shoulder, cautioning the public to consider him “armed and dangerous.”

The tragic mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, has now become the deadliest in the US in 2023, further emphasising the ongoing issue of gun violence in the country. On average, the US has witnessed more than 39,000 gun-related deaths annually since 2014.

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The United States has witnessed over 500 mass shootings this year, based on data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). Gun control remains a deeply polarising issue in the US, with advocates calling for stricter regulations, while others fiercely defend their Second Amendment rights. The country continues to grapple with the challenge of gun violence, which takes various forms, including suicides, mass shootings in schools, places of worship, and businesses.

The US stands out as the world’s leader in civilian gun ownership, with approximately 120.5 firearms per 100 people. This figure dwarfs that of the second-place country by nearly double.

In light of the ongoing prevalence of gun violence, many citizens and experts argue for a revaluation and strengthening of gun laws. However, achieving comprehensive and nationwide gun control reform remains a formidable challenge in the current political landscape.

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