Affidavit: Maine shooter thought targeted businesses were spreading ‘pedophile’ rumors about him

Documents released by investigators suggested a possible motive behind Maine massacre and victims may have in fact been targeted over rumors about the suspect and a girlfriend’s young daughters.

(Video: WMUR)

Nearly a week after 18 people were murdered and 13 others were injured in Lewiston, Maine in a tragic killing spree, Maine State Police and the Maine Department of Public Safety officially released documents that included search warrants, criminal records and affidavits.

Within those pages, both the brother and son to the suspect, 40-year-old Robert Card, as well as multiple witnesses, reported to law enforcement officials that the alleged murderer knew people at the sites attacked and that he believed they had been slandering him as a “pedophile.”

According to the brother, “Robert had been in a relationship” with a woman he had met “at a cornhole competition at [Schemengees Bar and Grille]” one of the locations where the killings occurred. That relationship had broken off in February around the same time that the suspect’s mental health had caused concern for family members.

As one witness described, the suspect would take his girlfriend’s two young daughters to eat at Schemengees “and that is where the pedophile thing in Robert’s head came from as Robert was there with [her] two daughters on occasions and felt that people were looking at him.”

Police were also told that the manager, Joey Walker, one of the victims, was believed to be one of the people Card suspected of spreading rumors about him.

A separate witness had spoke to the same and told state police Card believed that Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar and Grille were among local businesses “broadcasting online that Robert was a pedophile.”

Documents indicated that the suspect believed his family to be in on the perceived conspiracy against him, but they earned praise from Maine Public Safety commissioner Mike Sauschuck who noted at a press conference, “This family has been incredibly cooperative with us. Truth be told, I think the first three people that called us to positively identify this individual based on the photos that were released were family members.”

As previously reported, an updated timeline from Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry detailed that his office had been contacted on May 3, 2023 by family who said “Mr. Card’s mental health had started to decline in January. They were concerned for his well-being and said that Mr. Card had access to firearms.”

Following that discussion, a deputy spoke with representatives from Card’s Army Reserve unit prior to the suspect being committed to a mental health facility in July for two weeks.

According to the released documents, the mental health evaluation performed by the Army Reserves had followed accusations from the suspect against fellow members that they too were spreading rumors about him being a pedophile.

A wellness check was later called in resulting in a File 6 alert from law enforcement after they were unable to make contact with the suspect on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16 and the warning made note, “Mr. Card was known to be armed and dangerous and included details of his behavior. The alert urged that officers use extreme caution.”

That alert was canceled on Oct. 18, one week before the massacre after officials had remained unable to get in touch with Card. His brother assured them he would attempt to secure any firearms that remained in Card’s possession.

The suspect was also said to have stopped taking prescribed medication prior to the incident.


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Kevin Haggerty


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