Officers Locate Body of Suspected Shooter in Wake of Deadly Bowling Alley Massacre

Robert Card Found Dead from Apparent Suicide After 18 Killed in Rampage

Lewiston, ME — The exhaustive statewide manhunt for a gunman who massacred 18 people at a Maine bowling alley ended Friday night upon discovery of the suspect dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities located fugitive Robert Card’s corpse along the Androscoggin River, concluding a harrowing two-day search that terrorized Lewiston communities and brought overwhelming force to bear. The 40-year-old Army reservist was the sole suspect behind Wednesday’s slaughter at a crowded bowling center that became Maine’s worst-ever mass killing.

Governor Janet Mills broke the news late Friday after being briefed by state police, thanking residents and hundreds of law officers from multiple states who helped run Card to ground. She acknowledged his demise brought limited solace to many grieving loved ones of those lost.

“I know that his death may not bring solace to many. But now is a time to heal,” said Mills somberly. She praised Lewiston’s gritty character while President Biden called the area’s ordeal “tragic” in his own statement from Washington.

The visualization of Card’s body caps a wrenching period that plunged Lewiston into lockdown as schools, shops and municipal offices closed amid fears a heavily armed fugitive roamed local forests. Earlier Friday police resolved to check the entire Androscoggin River length using sonar devices in case Card dumped evidence or a weapon used at the bowling site.

Desperate investigators had enlisted the public to share tips on possible hideouts. But in the end, it was search teams directly that unearthed Card’s final location near where his abandoned vehicle turned up Thursday. What drove the reserved loner to commit chilling violence absent warning signs remains a mystery.

Yet confirmation the perceived deadly threat is extinguished will grant respite to rattled communities nearby. Residents endured home confinement for days awaiting word authorities had finally run the suspected killer to ground. Now they can start piecing lives and relationships back together after seeing friends and family felled without reason.

With Card confirmed deceased rather than at-large, a scarred region begins the long process of making sense of senseless bloodshed and sending the innocent slain to rest. Their names and faces provide gut-wrenching testimony that even quiet Maine hamlets cannot escape the modern plague of mass tragedy. Lewiston’s imposed isolation by police barricades ends, but recovering from the trauma visited upon its people has only just begun.

Photo by kat wilcox