By DAVID SHARPThe Related Press
PORTLAND, Maine — The Military reservist who opened hearth inside at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, earlier than disappearing was alive and probably on the run throughout portion of the large search that adopted, in accordance with a conclusion from the state health worker’s workplace launched Friday.
Robert Card died from a self-inflicted gunshot that “seemingly” occurred eight to 12 hours earlier than the invention of his physique, based mostly on a time-of-death evaluation, officers mentioned. The conclusion was introduced per week after his physique was found at the back of a tractor-trailer on the property of his former employer at a recycling heart.
Within the wake of the Oct. 25 shootings, which killed 18 folks and wounded 13 extra, tens of 1000’s of space residents sheltered at dwelling behind locked doorways as a whole lot of legislation enforcement officers scoured the world searching for Card. He fled in a automobile that was later discovered deserted on a waterfront in a close-by city.
Regulation enforcement companies got here underneath scrutiny for not discovering Card’s physique earlier underneath the idea that he killed himself within the hours simply after the shootings and that his physique was neglected in earlier searches.
However the time of demise supplied by the state’s chief health worker, Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, suggests Card, 40, was alive and probably on the transfer for greater than 24 hours after the killings.
The health worker’s workplace, nonetheless, mentioned Card suffered from a situation by which his coronary heart emptied of blood after the gunshot wound, affecting the way in which the blood settled in his physique and probably making the time of demise much less sure, in accordance with Lindsey Chasteen, workplace administrator of health worker’s workplace in Augusta.
A state police spokesperson had no remark Friday.
The newest disclosure within the investigation got here on the identical day President Joe Biden and first girl Jill Biden visited Lewiston to pay their respects and meet with victims. “Jill and I’ve completed too many of those,” Biden mentioned outdoors the bowling alley the place Card first opened hearth. The opposite web site was a close-by bar.
Card had been recognized to legislation enforcement for months as members of the family and others grew to become more and more apprehensive about his psychological state.
Concern accelerated following an altercation he had with fellow Military Reserve members. Card and different members of the Military Reserve’s third Battalion, 304th Infantry Unit have been in New York for coaching July 15 when he accused a number of of them of calling him a pedophile, shoved one among them and locked himself in his motel room. Issues over his psychological well being led to a 14-day hospitalization on the 4 Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, New York.
The concerns continued when Card returned to Maine. Considered one of Card’s fellow reservists urged a superior to alter the passcode to the gate and have a gun if Card arrived on the Military Reserve drill heart in Saco, Maine.
“I consider he’s going to snap and do a mass taking pictures,” the reservist wrote in a textual content.
A deputy twice visited Card’s home in Bowdoin, calling for backup on the second go to, however Card didn’t come to the door. Below Maine’s ” yellow flag ” legislation, officers have discretion to hunt to place somebody in short-term protecting custody and start the method of eradicating the individual’s entry to weapons.
That by no means occurred. A sheriff mentioned the deputies who visited Card for a wellness test didn’t have authorized authority to interrupt down the door and take Card.What occurred after the deputies’ go to stays unclear. The sheriff’s workplace canceled its statewide alert looking for assist finding Card per week earlier than the killings.