A U.S. Army reservist accused of spraying a bowling alley and bar with gunfire in Lewiston, Maine, killing 18 people, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a recycling plant trailer after a 48-hour manhunt, police said on Saturday.
The body of Robert R. Card, 40, was discovered on Friday night at a recycling plant in Lisbon Falls where he worked at one point, less than a mile from where police had found his abandoned getaway vehicle shortly after his shooting spree on Wednesday night.
A Maine State Police tactical team discovered Card’s body in an unlocked trailer in an overflow parking lot of the recycling plant, Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told reporters on Saturday.
Officers had cleared the plant twice in the course of their search, Sauschuck said, as they believed Card had some “employment relation” to the business, but had missed the extra parking lot, where about 60 box trailers full of crushed plastic and metal were parked, he said.
Officials said they recovered a long rifle in Card’s abandoned white Subaru and two guns on his body, without confirming the make and model. All the weapons were apparently purchased by Card legally, a representative for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.
A total of 18 people were killed and 13 others were wounded in Wednesday night’s carnage, which began when the gunman opened fire with a rifle inside the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, then launched another attack minutes later at Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant a few miles away.
Officials have not confirmed a possible motive for the gun violence, but Sauschuck said on Saturday that there was “a mental health component” to the tragedy.
Sauschuck said police found a note left at Card’s house, addressed to a loved one, which listed the passcode to his phone and bank account information.
“I wouldn’t describe it as an explicit suicide note, but the tone and tenor was that the individual was not going to be around,” Sauschuck said.
The shootings and prolonged manhunt terrorized the normally bustling but serene community of Lewiston, a former textile hub and the second-most populous city in Maine. It lies on the banks of the Androscoggin River, about 35 miles (56 km) north of the state’s largest city, Portland.