Maine Mass Shooter Found Dead

From a Wall Street Journal story by Dan Frosch, Jon Kamp. Jimmy Vielkind, and Elizabeth Findell headlined “Maine Mass Shooting Suspect Found Dead”:

The suspect in the worst mass shooting in the U.S. this year was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Friday night, law-enforcement officials said.

Robert Card was found around 7:45 p.m. in Lisbon Falls, Maine, just outside Lewiston, the site of Wednesday’s massacre, officials said at a press briefing Friday night.

Card had been sought by hundreds of law enforcement officers as the only suspect in a shooting spree that left 18 people dead and 13 wounded in two Lewiston locations.

“Like many people, I’m breathing a sigh of relief tonight knowing that Robert Card is no longer a threat to anyone,” Maine Gov. Janet Mills said at the press briefing. “Now is a time to heal.”

Police released the victims’ names earlier Friday as they began scouring a local river and ran down more than 500 tips on the possible whereabouts of Card, who was 40 years old.

Those lost in the worst mass shooting in the U.S. this year include a husband and wife in their 70s, a 14-year-old boy and his father and four deaf people who were playing in a weekly cornhole league, Maine authorities said Friday.

Authorities late Friday lifted a shelter-in-place order that covered Lewiston and other towns, as well as a hunting restriction in four towns announced earlier.

Card used a .308 caliber rifle, which can be used for hunting large game, according to law-enforcement officials. It couldn’t be determined if that was his only weapon.

Earlier this week, Card’s sister-in-law, Katie Card, said he began hearing voices and thought it was from people talking about him after he recently receiving hearing aids. She said her brother-in-law stayed briefly at a mental hospital this summer, that the shooting was out of character for him and implored him to turn himself in.

“He thought he heard voices at multiple places out in public,” she said by text. Family members could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Details regarding the victims continued to emerge. The first shootings took place just before 7 p.m. Wednesday at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and the second took place moments later at Schemengees Bar and Grille.

Four of the dead at Schemengees were members of a cornhole league for the deaf that gathered every Wednesday evening, friends and family said. The loss of life had left the tightknit local deaf community rattled. They organized on Facebook to create a meal train for victims’ families and to lobby television news crews to show sign-language interpreters at news conferences. Those victims were Joshua A. Seal, 36 years old, William Frank Brackett, 48, Stephen M. Vozzella, 45, and Bryan M. MacFarlane, 41.

“I can’t think of another instance in which four community members have been killed in a critical event like this,” said Stacey Bsullak, a local interpreter who organized the Facebook group. “It’s hit hard.”

The bar’s manager, Joseph Walker, 57, was also among the dead, his father Leroy Walker said. The younger Walker was known for his love of games and sports, as a longtime softball player. He regularly organized tournaments of pool, darts, shuffleboard and cornhole, many to raise money for people and charities. He had a wife, two stepchildren and two grandchildren. His father, a city councilor for nearby Auburn, lived nearby and often visited the bar to watch his son play tournaments, he said.

“When you’re a sports person, you always look for a place like Schemengees,” the elder Walker said of his son’s enthusiasm for his job. “There’s nothing he’s ever done that people haven’t loved doing with him. He loved people and people love him back.”

When state police notified Joseph Walker’s wife of his death, they told her that he had tried to pull a knife to stop the gunman, his father said.

Aaron Young, 14, a high-school freshman in Winthrop, about 20 miles northeast of Lewiston, and his father William Young, 44, were among those killed at the bowling alley. Winthrop Public Schools superintendent Jim Hodgkin said of the student: “He’s a very, very nice young man, very unassuming. Not a kid who would stand out or a troublemaker type of kid.” An uncle of another high-school student was also killed. The schools remained closed Friday.

The victims also include Robert Violette, 76, and wife Lucille, 73, who were also at the bowling alley. According to a gofundme page for the couple, they had three children and six grandchildren. Lucy Violette worked for the Lewiston School Department, according to the page.

Peyton Brewer-Ross, 40, a pipe fitter, was also among those killed while playing cornhole, his brother Stephen Brewer said. Humorous and good-natured, Brewer-Ross loved wrestling and comic-book heroes and last year completed a rigorous graduate pipe-fitting apprenticeship, according to his union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. He leaves behind a young daughter.

“He was a happy person and just enjoyed the competition and camaraderie,” Brewer said of his brother’s love of cornhole.

Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this article.

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