LEWISTON, Maine — For nearly 49 hours, the whereabouts of a 40-year-old man suspected of mass murder kept this city and surrounding communities on edge after he opened fire at a bar and bowling alley, killing 18 and injuring 13 others.
Hundreds of law enforcement officials spent roughly two days searching the region for Robert Card, who was found dead Friday evening from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to authorities.
From the first 911 calls at 6:56 p.m. Wednesday to when Card was found dead at 7:45 p.m. Friday, here is a timeline of events related to the mass shooting in Maine.
Wednesday, Oct. 25
6:56 p.m. – The Auburn Communications Center receives a 911 call reporting a male shooting a firearm at Just-In-Time Recreation at 24 Mollison Way. Plainclothes officers who were shooting at a range down the street arrive at the bowling alley just a minute after the call came in, officials said.
7 p.m. – Officials said the first police cruiser arrives at Just-In-Time Recreation.
7:08 p.m. – The Auburn Communications Center receives multiple 911 calls for an active shooter inside the Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant at 551 Lincoln St.
7:13 p.m. – The first Lewiston police officer arrives at Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant. The response became “exponential after that,” said Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.
7:24 p.m. – Central Maine Medical Center, an area hospital, receives its first patients and over the next 45 minutes the hospital receives 14 more. Eight were admitted to the hospital, three died, two were discharged home, and one was transferred to Maine Medical Center.
8:09 p.m. – Maine State Police advise residents via social media that there is an active shooter situation in Lewiston. Law enforcement told residents to shelter in place with doors locked and call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.
Around 11:30 p.m. – Maine authorities, including Sauschuck, hold a televised briefing to provide the first details of the mass shooting and identify Robert Card, born April 4, 1983, of Bowdoin, as a person of interest in the shooting. Police said Card is considered “armed and dangerous.” The shelter-in-place order in Lewiston remains and is expanded to the nearby town of Lisbon.
Over the evening – A reunification center is established at Auburn Middle School and families start arriving to find or check the status of loved ones.
Also during the evening – Police find a “vehicle of interest” in Lisbon that would later be tied to Card and said to be located at the Paper Mills Trail and Miller Park Boat Launch on Frost Hill Avenue. A long rifle is found in the car.
Thursday, Oct. 26
10:15 a.m. – Massachusetts State Police said they are aware of no link between Card and Massachusetts after “unsubstantiated” reports said the man had possibly crossed state lines.
10:45 a.m. – Authorities hold another briefing with Maine Gov. Janet Mills, who says it is “a dark day for Maine” and “no words can truly or fully measure the grief of Maine people today.” The shelter-in-place order extends to Bowdoin and police said they issued an arrest warrant for Card for eight counts of murder.
During the day – A cascading series of closures and lockdowns spread across Southern Maine, with schools keeping students home, shops shuttering their doors, and businesses largely keeping doors locked for the day. Law enforcement continue their hunt for Card.
During the afternoon – Mainers in Lewiston publicly mourn the dead, with one local artist pinning heart-shaped posters to trees and light posts in the downtown area.
6 p.m. – U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, said he is reversing his position on banning assault weapons, saying a horrific mass shooting in his hometown led him to believe the firearms should be prohibited.
During the evening – Law enforcement descend on a home in Bowdoin, the town where Card’s last known residence is located. Police at the scene order those inside the house to come out with their hands up. A Maine State Police spokesperson would later say law enforcement were there “as part of the investigation into the Lewiston shootings and the search for Robert Card.”
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Friday, Oct. 27
During the morning – Residents in Lewiston, Auburn, Bowdoin, Monmouth, and Lisbon wake up still under lockdown as law enforcement make clear they are settling into an expansive evidence-gathering and manhunt operation.
During the day – Law enforcement divers are dispatched to the Androscoggin River to search for clues related to the mass shooting. Officials use sonars, remote-operated equipment, and aerial vehicles like planes or helicopters. A power company that operates two dams in the area planned to adjust the flow of water to help divers see more clearly.
Throughout the day – Investigators, including FBI agents, continue to collect and process evidence at Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant.
5 p.m. – Thousands of Mainers in Lewiston, Auburn, Bowdoin, Monmouth, and Lisbon are cleared from a shelter-in-place order, a decision officials said was taken after considering the negative impacts it had on locals.
Also at 5 p.m. – Maine officials identify all 18 victims of the mass shooting and the ages of the dead range from 14 to 76, and include multiple people who were related to each other.
7:45 p.m. – Card is found dead inside a box trailer parked in an overflow lot across from the Maine Recycling Corporation.
Around 10 p.m. – At a press conference, Mills informs the public that Card was found dead. “I stand here tonight to simply report that the Maine State Police have located the body of Robert Card in Lisbon. He is dead. I called President Biden to inform him about this news,” she said.
Saturday, Oct. 28
10 a.m. – State officials provide more details about the circumstances around the discovery of Card’s body, including that the location was previously searched twice before by police. Authorities said Card left a note in his residence to a loved one and was struggling with mental health issues.