Maine police are searching for a US Army reservist wanted for murder after at least 18 people were killed and 13 others wounded in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and a bar in the city of Lewiston.
A manhunt was under way with police fanning out across southern Maine on Thursday while public school districts in the area cancelled classes and police urged residents to stay indoors.
list of 3 itemsend of list
Maine police issued an arrest warrant for suspect Robert Card, a sergeant at a nearby US Army Reserve base. Police earlier circulated photographs of a bearded man in a brown hooded sweatshirt and jeans at one of the crime scenes on Wednesday night armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Governor Janet Mills said it was a “dark day” for Maine.
“This city did not deserve this terrible assault,” she said. “No city does. No state, no people.”
US President Joe Biden condemned the “senseless and tragic” mass shooting and called for the passage of a ban of so-called assault weapons.
“For countless Americans who have survived gun violence and been traumatized by it, a shooting such as this reopens deep and painful wounds,” he said in a statement.
“Far too many Americans have now had a family member killed or injured as a result of gun violence. That is not normal, and we cannot accept it.”
The president also ordered flags at half-mast to honour the victims of the shooting.
Authorities said that Card had been committed to a mental health facility over the summer.
“Mr Card is considered armed and dangerous, and police advise that Maine people should not approach him under any circumstances,” Mills said.
The shooting has left the state in the northeastern United States reeling in its aftermath, and Mills said mental health professionals have been deployed to help residents.
Maine State Police said an arrest warrant has been issued for Card on eight counts of murder after eight of the victims had been identified. Officials are working to identify the remaining 10.
Police found a white SUV that they believe Card drove to the town of Lisbon, 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Lewiston, after the shooting. Shelter in place orders are also in effect there as well as in Lewiston and the town of Bowdoin, where public records showed Card lives.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies