Lewiston shooting: Police surround home in search for suspect in Maine mass shooting

State's Governor says mass shooting 'strikes at the very heart of who we are and the values we hold dear'

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A manhunt continued on Thursday for a man involved in two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, that killed at least 18 people and wounded 13.

Police identified the suspected gunman as Robert Card, 40, a firearms instructor at a US Army Reserve training centre in Maine. He was previously considered to be a “person of interest”.

Heavily armed officers surrounding a home where relatives Mr Card live near Bowdoin, Maine, are calling for people inside to surrender.

Law-enforcement officers asked TV crews to turn off their lights near by before officers could be heard yelling into a megaphone.

“You need to come outside now with nothing in your hands. Your hands in the air,” they shouted outside the home.

The officers continued to address the residents through the megaphone, at one saying they could guarantee safety for anyone leaving the house.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Maine Governor Janet Mills said: “I am profoundly saddened to stand before you today to report 18 people lost their lives and 13 people injured in last night’s attacks.

“Our small state of just 1.3 million people has long been known as one of the safest states in the nation.

"This attack strikes at the very heart of who we are and the values we hold dear for this precious place we call home.”

Ms Mills said she had spoken with US President Joe Biden twice since the shootings were first reported.

The White House said Mr Biden ordered full federal support.

The two shootings occurred at Schemengees Bar and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley, shortly before 7pm on Wednesday.

Maine State Police Col William Ross said a woman and six men were killed at the bowling alley and eight men inside the bar.

Several people were taken to area hospitals, where three were later pronounced dead.

Col Ross said several of those killed have been identified and their families have been notified.

Public schools in Portland, Maine's second-largest city, are closed and the town of Bowdoin was added to the list of cities urged to lock down as the manhunt continued.

Mr Card has been charged with eight counts of murder, but Col Ross said that number will increase as more victims are identified.

“Our reality for today is that this suspect is still at large,” he said, stressing that the man is considered dangerous and “should not be approached”.

Local, state and federal authorities are involved in the search for Mr Card, which Col Ross described as a “very fluid situation”.

“It was a rough night last night, but we're committed to bringing whoever's responsible for this to justice,” he said.

Photographs released by police showed a suspect holding a rifle and wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Maine state police also shared an image of the suspect's car, which is a white SUV.

Two hospitals have asked every off-duty staff member to help with the situation.

Armed police officers were at Central Maine Medical Centre, one of the hospitals where the wounded were being treated. The hospital is also on lockdown.

Photos of suspected gunman in Maine shooting revealed

Photos of suspected gunman in Maine shooting revealed

“As our state mourns this horrific mass shooting, we appreciate the support we’ve received from across the country, including the call I received from President Biden offering assistance,” US Senator Susan Collins said in a post on X.

US Senator Angus King said he will fly back to Maine “to support Lewiston any way he can”.

The shooting in Maine was the 565th mass shooting recorded in the US this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.

The GVA defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are shot, not including the shooter.

A mass murder is defined as incidents where four or more victims are killed, also not including the shooter.

Mr Biden in a statement called on Congress to pass stricter gun regulations, as he has after earlier mass shootings.

That is unlikely to happen, however, with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Democrats holding a narrow majority in the Senate.

“This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars – physical and mental – of this latest attack,” Mr Biden said.

Updated: October 27, 2023, 1:29 AM