U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine said Friday, after law enforcement discovered Lewiston, Maine, mass shooting suspect Robert Card dead, that residents of the state can now breathe a sigh of relief.
The 40-year-old Card was found dead Friday night from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound near a dumpster at a Lisbon, Maine, recycling plant where he once worked. He is the primary suspect in Wednesday’s mass shooting in Lewiston at Schemengees Bar and Grille and the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley in which 18 people were killed and another 13 were injured.
Collins, a Republican, said in a statement, “Mainers can breathe a collective sigh of relief thanks to the brave first responders who worked night and day to find this killer.”
The GOP senator said President Biden had informed her Card had been found Friday night and that she and the president expressed appreciation for the first responders’ efforts to locate the suspected gunman.
MAINE MASS SHOOTING SUSPECT ROBERT CARD FOUND DEAD WITH APPARENT SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND
“When President Biden called me this evening to tell me the perpetrator of the heinous attacks in Lewiston had been found, we both expressed our profound appreciation for the courage and determination of these brave men and women,” she wrote.
Collins also thanked Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, for her “steadfast leadership,” and the health care workers, city officials and the people of Maine “who came together in the wake of this attack.”
“To the families who lost loved ones and to those injured by this attack, I know that no words can diminish the shock, pain, and justifiable anger you feel,” she said. “It is my hope that you will find solace and strength in knowing that you are in the hearts of people throughout Maine and across the nation.”
In a statement of his own, King, an Independent, expressed relief that the suspect was found and said the people of Maine are appreciative of law enforcement and first responders who worked to find the suspect.
“Tonight, I join my neighbors and friends in a communal sense of relief,” King wrote. “We are grateful to law enforcement and first responders, for fifty hours of nonstop dedication and determination that brought us this relief. It will take a long, long time to process this pain, but Maine people have grit, resolve and heart and we will come together through this difficult grieving period and hope for brighter, calmer days.”
Maine State Police found Card Friday night at about 7:45 p.m. His body was found after a 2-day-long manhunt in connection with the mass shootings.
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Hundreds of law enforcement officers, including the FBI, SWAT and the BORTAC Border Patrol unit worked to locate Card, who was described by officials as armed and dangerous during the manhunt.
The governor said in a press conference that she informed the four federal lawmakers representing Maine that the suspect had been located.
“This discovery is entirely thanks to the hundreds of local, county, state and federal law enforcement members from all over and people from other states as well, people who searched tirelessly to arrive at this moment,” Mills said.
Maine officials identified the victims in the shootings as Ronald Morin, 55; Peyton Brewer Ross, 40; Joshua Seal, 35; Brian MacFarlane, 41; Joseph Lawrence Walker, 57; Arthur Fred Strout, 42; Maxx Hathaway, 35; Stephen Vozella, 45; Thomas Ryan Conrad, 34; Michael R. Deslauriers II, 51; Jason Adam Walker 51; Tricia Asselin, 53; William Young, 44; Aaron Young, 14; Robert Violette, 76 and Lucille Violette, 73; William Frank Brackett, 44; and Keith Macneir, 64.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden said in a statement that “the people of Lewiston and the surrounding communities can feel safe that this threat has ended.”
“I know that we will all continue to pray for and care for the families who have lost loved ones, for the wounded, and for the survivors who experienced this terrible shooting. This is a time for mourning the loss of life and to honor the memory of each one of these members of our greater community,” he wrote. “I want to express gratitude to local law enforcement agents and all who responded from across the state and the country to put their lives at risk to protect our community, and also to the EMT and medical professionals who responded to this crisis.
Earlier this week, Golden reversed his stance on gun ownership after the mass shooting in Maine and said he now supports a ban on “assault” weapons.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that she is thankful for the “many law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, local leaders, journalists and residents for their tireless work this week and in the days to come.”
“We will hold the Mainers lost forever in our hearts as we begin to try to heal and, importantly, work to put an end to the uniquely American gun violence epidemic,” she continued. “Please, stay safe and stay #MaineStrong.”