The Maine State Police lifted the stay-at-home-order for southern Maine counties and disclosed the names of the remaining victims of the mass shooting that took place in Lewiston Wednesday, but little additional information was given concerning the state of the manhunt for the suspect.
All eighteen of the victims have now been identified, and their names and ages have been shared with the public alongside photos provided by their family members.
As of Friday night, the shelter in place orders have been lifted, but hunting will be prohibited until further notice in Lewiston, Lisbon, Bowdoin, and Monmouth while search efforts for the suspect continue.
State Commissioner for the Department of Public Safety Mike Sauschuck began tonight’s press conference by announcing that an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will be shown on-screen at all times during official press briefings.
As many of the victims of Wednesday night’s tragedy were deaf, readily providing an ASL interpreter will allow for their friends and family members — who may also be part of the deaf community — to more easily access information about what happened to their loved ones.
The full names and ages of all eighteen victims were then read by Sauschuck, while their photos were displayed on a screen behind the podium.
This was followed by a moment of silence in their honor.
Sauschuck then moved on to discuss some updates related to the ongoing search effort and investigation.
The search taking place near the boat launch in Lisbon will recommence Saturday morning when additional divers will be brought in both from Maine and out of state to assist in the search.
Friday’s investigative activities in the Androscoggin River primarily consisted of sonar searches in the water, as well as aerial flyovers.
The crime scene investigations taking place at Just In Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille are still underway, and law enforcement will likely be at both locations again tomorrow.
Although Sauschuck announced that the shelter in place orders have been lifted throughout the state, he urged residents to remain on guard.
“This is not to say that the crisis is over, the emergency is done, we can go about our lives as if life is good,” Sauschuck said. “We want our folks, we want our residents to remain vigilant and to pay attention to what we share for information.”
Also released tonight were an official height and weight for the suspect — Robert R. Card Jr., 40, of Bowdoin. He is 5’11”, 230 lbs, and was last seen wearing a brown hoodie and cargo pants.
Official height and weight of the suspect released:— The Maine Wire (@TheMaineWire) October 27, 2023
5'11" and 230 lbs, last seen in a brown hoodie and cargo pants. pic.twitter.com/fv4O3zC2hw
Sauschuck also made it known that in addition to the large-scale searches happening in the area, residents should also be prepared to encounter law enforcement conducting smaller-scale neighborhood canvases consisting of just just two officers, either uniformed or clearly displaying their badges.
Following up on a question posed by a reporter Friday morning, Sauschuck shared more detailed information regarding police officers’ response time to the 911 calls placed Wednesday night when the shooting first took place.
Records show Lewiston police officers arriving on the scene at Just In Time Recreation four minutes after the initial 911 call was made, but the actual response time for that location was much quicker.
Several plain clothes officers were shooting on a nearby range when the call came in, and they responded within 90 seconds. As soon as they arrived, they assessed any remaining threats and cleared the building.
The first officers arrived at Schemengees Bar & Grille approximately five minutes after a 911 call was placed from that location.
Large numbers of additional officers then began responding to both scenes almost immediately following this.
During the question-and-answer portion of tonight’s briefing, Sauschuck explained that the hundreds of tips they have received from members of the public range in specificity from reported sightings of the suspect to knowledge of vacant properties where the suspect could potentially be able to hide out.
Sauschuck also reported that the digital tip line — first announced earlier today — has already received more than 100 submissions.
Anyone with information is encouraged to reach out to law enforcement at (207) 213-9526. Photos, videos, and other materials that may be evidentiary in nature can be submitted to the digital tip line: FBI.GOV/LewistonTips
When for more information about the note confirmed to have been found in the suspect’s residence, Sauschuck again declined to provide any additional details as to its contents.
In light of the fact that all eighteen of Wednesday night’s victims have now been identified, Sauschuck stated that officials will be speaking more tomorrow morning about the issuance of additional arrest warrants against the suspect for their murders.