What we know — and don't know — about the Lewiston, Maine mass shootings

Law enforcement gather Thursday morning outside Schemengee's Bar and Grille in Lewiston, Maine. Residents have been ordered to shelter in place as police continue to search for the suspect of Wednesday's mass shooting at the bar. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
Law enforcement gather Thursday morning outside Schemengee's Bar and Grille in Lewiston, Maine. Residents have been ordered to shelter in place as police continue to search for the suspect of Wednesday's mass shooting at the bar. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

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Massachusetts officials are offering support to our neighbors in Maine, as New England wakes up to what appears to be the region’s worst mass shooting since (at least) Sandy Hook.

Authorities are still searching for the gunman, who opened fire last night at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city. As of this morning, residents in three Maine communities — Lewiston, Lisbon and Bowdoin — are being asked to lock their doors and shelter in place as over 100 investigators search for the suspect. Many schools in the area are also closed today, including Bates College.

Here’s the latest on what we know and don’t know:

How did the shooting happen? Police say the shooting happened at two locations: Schemengees Bar and Grille and Sparetime Recreation, a bowling alley four miles away. Police say the violence began at 6:56 p.m., but it’s unclear which location was attacked first.

How many casualties? The official word is “multiple casualties.” Early reports indicate that dozens of people were shot. However, Mike Sauschuck, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, declined to give a specific estimate of those killed, saying the numbers “are all over the map.”

Who is the suspect? Officials have identified 40-year-old Robert Card, of Bowdoin, Maine, as a person of interest. Lewiston Police also released photos of the man believed to be Card entering the bowling alley while carrying an AR-style long gun, as well as a close-up of what appears to be his license.

  • The Associated Press reports that Card is a local firearms instructor who was assigned to an Army Reserve training center in Saco.

Where is he? This part also remains unclear. Officials found Card’s car last night in Lisbon, just east of Lewiston. And early this morning, they expanded the shelter-in-place order farther east to Card’s hometown of Bowdoin.

  • PSA: Police say Card is believed to be armed and dangerous. They’re advising anyone who sees him not to approach, but rather call 911.

What’s next? Maine State Police say another press conference is planned today at 10:30 a.m. to provide updates. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey said she’s been in touch with Maine Gov. Janet Mills and has offered support in the wake of “this heartbreaking tragedy.”

The Boston City Council signed off yesterday on Mayor Michelle Wu’s proposed ordinance empowering police to remove tents from Mass. and Cass. This comes as officials try to address reemergent homelessness and rising violence in the area. WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann reports the ordinance bans tents on public property, but requires city workers to offer temporary storage for people’s belongings before clearing an encampment. The slightly tweaked version of the measure also removes a $25 fine for violators.

  • The latest at Mass. and Cass: City officials say there are currently about 52 tents and at least 85 people living in the area.
  • What’s next: The ordinance will take effect seven days after Wu signs off on it. The mayor is planning a press conference this morning at 9 a.m. to announce the city’s next steps.

The Red Line diversions are making their way north: The MBTA is planning several weekend and nighttime closures on the northern half of the Red Line next month for track work — after they finish the current Ashmont branch closure. T officials say the work is aimed at continuing to make more progress lifting slow zones. (They did actually make some progress on Red Line slow zones last month.)

  • On the weekend on Nov. 4-5: Shuttles will replace train service between Alewife and Kendall/MIT on both days.
  • Later in the month: Downtown Red Line service (between Park Street and Broadway) will shut down at 8:45 p.m. each night on Nov. 14-16. The same stretch will also shut down all weekend Nov. 18-19. (Shuttle buses will, of course, be subbing in.)

Meanwhile on the Orange Line: There are some diversions ahead for track work, too — including nighttime (Nov. 7-10) and weekend (Nov. 11-12) shutdowns of all service north of North Station.

P.S.— Somerville has announced the winners of the city’s first-ever round of participatory budgeting. The winning projects — which were submitted and then voted on by Somerville residents — include money for food pantries, shade structures at public parks, and bike and bus lane improvements. Click here for more details.


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Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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