Read the latest updates on the Maine shootings.
The man wanted in the nation’s deadliest mass shooting this year was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Friday night, ending a manhunt that spanned much of southern Maine for two days.
The authorities said that the man, Robert R. Card Jr., 40, killed 18 people and injured 13 more on Wednesday night in a crowded bowling alley and at a bar in Lewiston, a city in Maine of about 40,000 residents.
Here’s what we know about the shooting, the country’s deadliest of the year.
What happened in Lewiston?
Around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, a gunman opened fire at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley. A few minutes later, there were reports of a shooting at Schemengees Bar & Grille, a 12-minute drive away.
By about 8 p.m., officials released photos of an armed suspect and urged people to stay inside with their doors locked. Officials in Auburn, across the river from Lewiston, also urged residents to shelter in place. Around 9:15, the Lewiston police released photos of a vehicle they were searching for, a small white car with a front bumper that might be painted black.
Around 11 p.m., the police named Robert R. Card Jr. of Bowdoin, Maine, as a person of interest in the shootings, saying that he “should be considered armed and dangerous.”
On Thursday, the Maine State Police expanded its shelter-in-place advisory for Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city after Portland, to include Bowdoin, about 15 miles away. Classes at Bates College in Lewiston, at Lewiston Public Schools and in neighboring school districts were canceled Thursday.
The shelter-in-place order was lifted on Friday while the manhunt continued. The authorities also placed hunting restrictions on four towns where police officers were searching for the suspect.
Hours later, the Maine State Police found the suspect’s body in Lisbon Falls around 7:45 p.m., near where he had abandoned his vehicle along the Androscoggin River, which divers had searched earlier that day, state officials said. The discovery ended the hunting restrictions, and the days of panic.
What do we know about the victims?
Seven people died at the bowling alley, eight at the bar and three at the hospital, according to Col. William G. Ross of the Maine State Police. Eight of the 18 people killed have been identified so far. The youngest victim was 14 years old and the oldest was 76, an official with the state medical examiner’s office said on Friday.
Dr. John Alexander of the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston said the hospital had received 14 victims over 45 minutes on Wednesday night. In addition to the three people who died, three were discharged and eight remain hospitalized — three in critical condition and five in stable condition.
The mother of a victim who was shot at the bar said the shootings and her son’s death had further cemented a belief that she has had for years now: that assault rifles should be banned.
What do we know about the suspect?
Mr. Card was a sergeant first class in the Army Reserve who enlisted in December 2002, the U.S. Army’s public affairs office at the Pentagon said.
He was trained as a petroleum supply specialist, whose work involved shipping and storing vehicle and aircraft fuel. Mr. Card had not served on any combat deployments and was assigned to the Third Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment in Saco, Maine, according to an Army spokesman.
Police investigators were looking into a run-in Mr. Card had with officials during a recent visit to Camp Smith, a National Guard training facility not far from West Point, a senior law enforcement official said. The official said that Mr. Card was later evaluated at a mental health facility.
The authorities said that the suspect was found dead at Maine Recycling. The company’s owner, Leo Madden, said that Mr. Card used to work there.
“His demeanor at Maine Recycling was no different from anybody else,” Mr. Madden said.
What are Maine’s gun laws?
While it is a largely blue state where Democrats control the governorship and both chambers of the State Legislature, Maine has a long history of resisting gun control measures. Much of the state’s political power base is rooted in rural communities, where hunting is an integral part of the culture.
According to a 2020 study by the RAND Corporation, 45 percent of Maine households owned at least one gun between 2006 and 2017, compared with the national average of 32 percent.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates tighter restrictions on guns, ranks Maine 25th in the nation in the strictness of its gun laws, with more permissive laws than nearby Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. In the region, only New Hampshire has a less-strict ranking than Maine.
Maine does restrict the possession of guns by people with mental challenges who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or to others. Instead of a so-called red flag law similar to what many other states have passed, which allows the police or the public to petition for a temporary removal of a person’s firearms, Maine has a “yellow flag” law with the additional requirement of a medical professional’s opinion.
How have elected officials responded?
Representative Jared Golden of Maine, a centrist Democrat and Marine Corps veteran who has repeatedly broken with his party to oppose legislation that would ban assault weapons, reversed his long-held stance and has called for a ban on assault weapons.
Senator Susan Collins, a centrist Republican from Maine, declined to back a ban on assault weapons. Ms. Collins, who last year helped negotiate a compromise measure that broke a decades-long stalemate on any legislation aimed at changing the nation’s gun laws, instead said lawmakers should look at banning “very high-capacity magazines.”
“There’s always more that can be done,” she said.
Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Eduardo Medina, John Ismay, Jenny Gross, Glenn Thrush, Michael Corkery, Shaila Dewan and John Yoon.