It has been declared the deadliest mass shooting in the United States in 2023.
(Image c/o AP Photo/Matt York, File)
By Edith Cuevas
Just-In-Time Recreation was hosting a youth bowling league when gunfire erupted, killing seven people, including a fourteen year old bowler. The perpetrator, Robert Card then continued the spree of violence at nearby restaurant Schemengees Bar & Grille. Another eight lives were claimed at the scene. The other three succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.
One of the injured victims was ten-year-old Zoey Levesque, who told the Los Angeles Times during an interview, “I never thought I’d grow up and get a bullet in my leg. Why? Why do people do this?”
The suspect led the police on a two-day statewide manhunt, triggering a stay-at-home order for the city of Lewiston, and stretched as far as 50 miles away from the initial sites. He was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a recycling center less than ten miles away from Schemengees Bar & Grille.
The New York Times has reported that Card was a known subject to the police department. Card was first brought to the attention of a school resource officer by his ex-wife and teenage son. They attempt to voice their concern about Card’s mental health, claiming that he had begun to hear voices, became paranoid, and angry. The family members expressed growing concern over the growing collection of fifteen firearms that belonged to Card. The school resource officer brought this to the attention of the sheriff’s office.
With this new information, the sheriff’s office reaches out to the Army Reserves in an attempt to learn more about Card’s behaviors. From this conversation, the solution was to work closer together with the Army Reserves and deal with this issue together.
Earlier this year in July, the Army Reserves decided that Card needed medical attention due to his erratic behavior during a training exercise. It was at the hospital that the staff decided that Card needed more medical treatment and was moved to a psychiatric center, where he spent a total of two weeks. Immediately after, Card attempted to purchase a silencer. Which, of course, was denied to him by the gun shop owner due to his previous mental health treatment. According to the New York Times, Card purchases even more guns legally in October, and uses them to carry out the most violent attack in the United States this year.
The state of Maine is looking to cover the funeral costs for the families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy. A spokesperson for the governor of Maine told the Seattle Times, “The administration is working to ensure that the families of victims do not have to bear any financial costs for the funerals of their loved ones.”
Madison Sciba '24,