The Army Reserve unit that mass murderer Robert R. Card Jr. served in since 2002 also contains several members of Maine law enforcement.
All of them were aware of Card’s deteriorating mental health and threats of violence several weeks before he went to murder 18 people in Maine’s worst mass shooting.
Card was a member of the Army Reserve’s Bravo Company 3-304th Infantry Regiment stationed in Saco, a unit that includes the Sheriff of Oxford County, an Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Deputy, and an Ellsworth Police Officer.
According to documents provided to media by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), Card was known to local law enforcement, including those members of his unit, as a potentially dangerous individual for months before his shooting rampage on Oct. 25.
The documents include two SCSO reports, one from May and one from October, that detail both Card’s family’s and the Army Reserve’s attempts to keep firearms out of Card’s hands.
Law enforcement officers in Card’s unit include Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright, Androscoggin County Deputy Matthew Noyes, Ellsworth Police Department Corporal Kelvin Mote, and Nashua, N.H. police officer Jeremy Reamer.
In May, Card’s ex-wife and their son went to the Mt. Ararat High School’s School Resource Officer (SRO), a Topsham police officer, with concerns that Card was exhibiting signs of paranoid schizophrenia.
According to Card’s son, Card was claiming to hear voices in his head as early as January, around the time he was fitted for hearing aids.
Law enforcement also learned in May that Card had access to between 10-15 firearms.
Law enforcement visited Card’s home in Bowdoin twice and attempted to learn more about his access to firearms, but both times they failed to make contact with Card. They also had extensive contact with Card’s brother, Ryan Card, in an attempt to keep the family’s guns out of Card’s hands.
The documents also provide new details on the incident that led Card to be committed to a psychiatric hospital in July.
During training at West Point in New York, Card grew belligerent with some of his friends within the unit while they were making a beer run, and he insisted that they were making fun of by calling him a pedophile and mocking the size of his penis. He locked himself in a hotel room and refused to leave until his commanding officer forcibly entered his room the following morning.
“Card was taken to Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, N.Y. for treatment and evaluation,” the commanding officer wrote in a memo to Maine police. “During the four hours I was with Card he never spoke, just stared through me without blinking.”
According to the documents, the Army Reserve was attempting to force Card into retirement “with conditions that he get some mental health treatment.”
Members of his Army Reserve unit also sought to restrict his access to firearms and hand grenades during training sessions.
“I would rather err on the side of caution with regards to Card since he is a capable marksman and, if he should set his mind to carry out the threats…, he would be able to do it,” wrote the Army Reserve said in a note to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 15.
That opinion was contradicted by Capt. Reamer, the Nashua police officer, according to the documents.
Capt. Reamer told the SCSO that “he thought it best to let Card have time to himself for a bit.”
Here two SCSO reports: