“Relaxed and methodical” Maine murderer’s family had voiced their concerns to authorities five months prior to the massacre.
Earlier grim depictions of a failure to address concerns over now-deceased suspect Robert Card prior to the Oct. 25 murder of 18 people in Lewiston, Maine proved considerably worse following a Monday press release. Issued by Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, the latest account revealed that as early as May the sheriff’s office had been alerted to declining “mental health” and concern for Card’s “well-being” as he “had access to firearms.”
“Under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, we believe that these documents are public, and we are releasing them. The following is an account of our contacts related to Mr. Card,” the release noted after reiterating condolences to the victims and their surviving family members.
“The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by members of Robert R. Card’s family on May 3, 2023. The family said that 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,” revealed Merry.
“After speaking with the family, the Sagadahoc County deputy spoke with representatives [of] the 3rd Battalion 304 Training Group and connected them with Mr. Card’s family, who assured our office that they would ensure that Card received medical attention,” continued the sheriff. “In addition, Mr. Card’s unit sergeant shared his plan to speak with Card.”
Previously, it had been known that the suspect’s Army Reserve unit had requested a wellness check in September after having been committed to a mental health facility in July for two weeks, and greater detail on that check sparked even more concern.
After attempts on Sept. 15 and Sept 16 to locate the suspect proved futile, a File 6 alert was issued, described as common by law enforcement attempting to locate someone, that “included a warning that Mr. Card was known to be armed and dangerous and included details of his behavior. The alert urged that officers use extreme caution.”
Card’s unit commander informed the deputy the suspect “no longer had any weapons from the reserve unit” and “advised that they were trying to get treatment for Mr. Card and that he thought it best to let Card have time to himself.”
By Sept. 17, the suspect’s brother had been contacted and he told authorities he would attempt to secure any firearms in his Card’s possession. The File 6 alert was canceled Oct. 18, one week before the massacre in Maine.
Sunday, eyewitness survivor Danielle Grondin, who had been at the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley when the suspect was said to have opened fire, detailed her account to Bangor Daily News and described the behavior of the murderer as “relaxed and methodical.”
“I did not have a sense he had any set targets. My sense was he saw someone moving and he shot,” she explained as she believed his weapon may have been jamming, a determination she made noting the moments between single shots fired and her own “face to face” encounter.
“I saw the light — I can’t say if it was green or blue,” Grondin said of a targeting sight as she described the suspect standing some 20 feet away from her, “but I saw it pointing in our direction. I froze — not in fear, but in confusion.”
By her account, there were at least three bowling leagues in attendance Wednesday night and she believed she might have been the last person to speak with the bartender, 34-year-old Thomas Ryan Conrad, before her boyfriend dragged her away to safety.
The latest update from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office only further infuriated the public over the tragedy that had unfolded.
This is enraging. On what planet is it best for someone in the midst of a psychotic break, with access to firearms, and a history of making threats, “to have time with themselves”
— Tracy Walder (@tracy_walder) October 31, 2023
how many times are we going to read that the FBI or a police dept or mental health counselor knew and sat on their posteriors
— USMC Lady Vet (@Arkypatriot) October 31, 2023
Heartbreaking and maddening at the same time. Preventable incident for sure!
— Tracy Leonard (@tracyleonard79) October 31, 2023
Talk about dropping the ball. Tragic
— JenX (@Jenxusa) October 31, 2023
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