This is a developing story… Please check back for possible updates…
In yet the latest mass shooting involving a gunman and a military-style assault rifle in the United States, between 15 and 22 people were killed and scores wounded Wednesday night in the city of Lewiston, Maine.
Citing a Lewiston police source, NBC News reported that 22 victims were dead and another 50-60 individuals injured during the shootings—believed to be by the same perpetrator—that took place in at least two separate locations, including a bowling alley and a nearby bar and eatery. Local outlets have put the death toll between 15 and 20, but law enforcement remained reluctant to confirm a specific number, with the shooter still at large.
The local Lewiston Sun Journal reports:
Police, fire and rescue personnel descended on Sparetime Recreation on Mollison Way about 7:15 p.m., responding to a report of an active shooter.
Shortly after, reports came in that there was another shooting at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Lincoln Street. Lewiston public information officer Derrick St. Laurent told the Sun Journal at about 8:15 p.m. that another shooting had been reported at the Walmart Distribution Center on Alfred A Plourde Parkway.
One local reporter described how it was youth night at the bowling alley, raising fears that teenagers or other young people could be among the dead and wounded.
The Maine State Police said the assailant was still at large and security camera footage of the shooter was released in order to assist with the gunman’s capture.
Just before 11:00 pm ET, the Lewiston Police Department announced that the suspect they are seeking in relation to the shooting is Robert Card, with a birth date of 4/4/83, as a person of interest. Card, the notice from police said, “should be considered armed and dangerous. Please contact law enforcement if you are aware of his whereabouts.”
During an initial and short press conference, Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety, said he could not confirm or offer a death toll or casualty count, but said that information would be released once it was accurately established.
The state police offered no official count of casualties or injuries as of 10:00 pm ET, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss, but an update by law enforcement was expected.
“There is an active shooter situation in the city of Lewiston. Law enforcement is asking people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked,” Moss said. “If you see any suspicious activity or individuals, please call 911.”
Opponents of out-of-control gun violence decried the shooting as the latest evidence that the political failure of both major parties to rein in such violence is ultimately to blame for the latest bloodshed and loss of life.
“This is unacceptable,” said the gun control advocacy group Giffords in response to the massacre. “Our country is being held hostage by a gun lobby that makes record profits off record gun sales & gun violence. We need action on gun safety NOW.”