Two new additional details about the Lewiston mass shooter have emerged: He left a veritable suicide note for his family, and the police were alerted to him last month after he made “veiled threats.”
According to CBS News, the authorities found a “paper-style note” in deceased suspect Robert Card’s home early Friday, hours before he himself was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby town.
Addressed to his son, the note reportedly contained his bank account numbers and the password to his phone.
“I wouldn’t describe it as an explicit suicide note, but the tone and tenor was that the individual was not going to be around and wanted to make sure that this loved one had access to his phone and whatever was in his phone,” Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told CBS News.
According to a separate report from the Associated Press, last month police in Maine were alerted to Card, who’d been a U.S. Army reservist and firearms instructor, after he made “veiled threats” against his base and fellow soldiers.
“Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, whose jurisdiction includes Card’s home in Bowdoin, said the Army Reserve tipped his department in September to the reservist’s threats, and the sheriff sent the awareness alert to every law enforcement agency in the state after his deputy came back empty-handed from a welfare check to Card’s home,” according to the AP.
“But after stepped-up patrols of the base and a visit to Card’s home – neither of which turned up any sign of him – they moved on,” the AP reported Saturday.
“We added extra patrols, we did that for about two weeks. … The guy never showed up,” Jack Clements, the police chief of the town where the base is located, said.
Maine shooting: Lewiston police were warned about Robert Card weeks before massacre
Police were alerted to ‘veiled threats’ by Card, a US Army reservist
This government system is failing to the American people pic.twitter.com/LRFyhWuspj
— Gv Tricks Ultra MAGA, Patriot #FJB (@gvtricks) October 29, 2023
What’s not clear, according to the AP, is whether the threats that triggered an alert were the same ones that Card reportedly made during an Army reserve training exercise near West Point, New York, in July.
“That’s when police say Card was committed to a mental health facility for two weeks after acting erratically and ‘hearing voices and threats to shoot up’ a military base,” the AP notes.
What is known is that despite these threats and erratic behavior, Card never piqued the attention of the FBI.
The agency “did not have nor did it receive any tips or information concerning Robert Card,” an FBI spokesperson told the FBI.
The spokesperson added that the bureau’s instant background check system “was not provided with or in possession of any information that would have prohibited Card from a lawful firearm purchase.”
Clements for his part defended his department’s response to the threats, categorizing the alert as a “generic thing that came out saying, hey, you know, we’ve had some report that this guy’s made some veiled threats.”
But the public was not too keen on his excuse-making:
They were busy tracking down J6 grandmas and PTA meetings.
— Nutmeg89 (@Nutmeg894) October 28, 2023
Why didn’t they act on those threats? Shame on them for letting this happen.
— imhodler (@iamhodler_) October 28, 2023
Another shooter that law enforcement knew about but because of lenient laws, didn’t do anything about it. This happens all too often.
— Paul Knight (@Gaga_In_Fla) October 29, 2023
This is a typical pattern we’ve seen in every case so far: the killers broadcast their intentions—almost compelled to do so—and no one notices or cares till they carry out their plans.
— Suresh Babu (@zurent) October 28, 2023
Government trained him. Government knew of his threats 2 shoot up an army base. Government knew he had a metal malfunction. Government never tried 2 put him on the yellow flag law list. But yet, government wants 2 use his actions as justification 2 restrict law abiding citizens?
— ChrisN1975 (@NikolaiTesla_) October 28, 2023
Note the latter user’s tweet. Despite this appearing to be yet another case of law enforcement dropping the ball, the response from President Joe Biden has been to call for more gun control on law-abiding citizens.
“Who the hell needs an assault weapon that can hold, in some cases, up to 100 rounds?” the president complained at a campaign event Friday, according to The Hill.
And then after Card was found dead, the president issued a lengthy statement explicitly calling for more gun control.
“Once again, an American community and American families have been devastated by gun violence. In all, at least eighteen souls brutally slain, more injured, some critically, and scores of family and friends praying and experiencing trauma no one ever wants to imagine,” he said.
“Americans should not have to live like this. I once again call on Republicans in Congress to fulfill their obligation to keep the American people safe. Until that day comes, I will continue to do everything in my power to end this gun violence epidemic. The Lewiston community – and all Americans – deserve nothing less,” he added.
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