Maine shootings latest LIVE: First victims named as 18 confirmed dead and hunt for gunman continues

Maine shootings latest LIVE: First victims named as 18 confirmed dead and hunt for gunman continues

At least 18 people were killed and 13 injured in shootings in Maine, Governor Janet Mills has told a press conference.

State police told media that ten victims were yet to be identified as they warned the public not to approach the "armed and dangerous" suspect, thought to be behind Wednesday night's shootings at a bar and bowling alley in the city of Lewiston.

Eight of the eighteen victims were shot dead in the bowling alley, while seven were killed at a bar. Three victims later died in hospital, officers said.

Police officials believe the shooter was a man named Robert Card, a firearms instructor with a history of mental health issues. However investigators were still processing the crime scenes and working to gather evidence.

The gunman is still at large and hundreds of police officers are spread out across the north east US state searching for him. Residents in three towns have been ordered by police to stay indoors.

Follow latest updates below

Key Points

  • What we know about the shootings so far

  • Timeline of last night's shootings

  • Schools and town offices to stay shut today

  • First victims of mass shooting named

First victims of mass shooting named

20:25 , Matt Watts

The first victims of the Maine mass shooting have been named as a retired mechanic who was a children’s bowling coach, a mother-of-one shot while calling 911 and a bar manager.

Bob Violette, 76, was killed in the massacre that erupted inside Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and Schemengee’s Bar and Grille on Wednesday evening, his daughter-in-law Cassandra told US media.

Tricia Asselin, 53, a mother-of-one who worked at the bowling alley was shot and killed as she tried to call emergency services, according to reports.

Relatives confirmed that the third victim was Joseph Walker, 57, who was a bar manager at Schemengee’s.

What we know about the shootings so far

07:38 , Jordan King

Good morning and welcome to The Evening Standard's live coverage of the shootings in US city of Lewiston, Maine, where there is a huge manhunt underway for the main suspect.

Here are some important details we know so far:

  • A man opened fire in a restaraunt and a bowling alley last night

  • The latest death toll being reported in US media is 22

  • Between 50 and 60 people were injured

  • Firearms instructor Robert Card, 40, has been named as the suspect

  • Residents in Lewiston and Auburn have been told to shelter

Multiple schools cancel classes today

07:40 , Jordan King

Many schools in Lewiston and nearby districts will shut today - as the gunman responsible for opening fire on Americans last night is still at large.

Lewiston Public Schools said in a social media post: "There remains a lot of unknowns at this time. Information moves quickly but not always accurately. Please continue to shelter in place or get to safety. We will continue to update you with information and next steps as appropriate.

“Stay close to your loved ones. Embrace them. Our prayers go out to those who lost someone tonight. Our prayers go out to all those working to stop further loss of life.”

Several schools were in the middle of parent-teacher conferences when the attack began in the early evening.

People of 'all ages' witnessed horror of shootings

07:42 , Jordan King

Police are interviewing witnesses of 'all ages', including teenagers, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque told journalists.

He went on to describe the impact the tragedy has had on the community.

He said: "Auburn and Lewiston are side by side ... a river separates us. Combined, our population is around 60,000. You cannot help but know people who know someone, so this will impact every corner of our community."

High school pupil 'among those wounded'

07:47 , Jordan King

A high school pupil among the group of between 50 and 60 people who were wounded, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque said.

He does not know if any children were killed in the attacks.

Manhunt for gunman in pictures

07:57 , Jordan King

US authorities are searching for the man responsible for killing at least 22 people, according to the most recent death toll.

Firearms instructor Robert Card, 40, has been named as the main suspect but he has not been found.

An armed police officer guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston (AFP via Getty Images)
An armed police officer guards the ambulance entrance to the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston (AFP via Getty Images)
Police close Lincoln Street leading to Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant (REUTERS)
Police close Lincoln Street leading to Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant (REUTERS)
A sign telling the public to shelter for their own safety (AP)
A sign telling the public to shelter for their own safety (AP)

Town offices shut today

08:03 , Jordan King

All town offices in the cities of Lisbon, where a vehicle of interest was located, and Lewiston, where the shootings happened, will be shut today, local authorities have said.

Residents have been told to "please prioritize safety and continue to shelter in place".

Shooting suspect was 'committed to mental health facility over summer'

08:20 , Jordan King

Robert Card, the firearms instructor named as a person of interest in the shooting, was "committed to a mental health facility for two weeks during summer 2023 and subsequently released," a Maine law enforcement bulletin has reportedly said.

It did not provide details about his treatment or condition but said Card had reported "hearing voices and threats to shoot up" the military base.

Joe Biden offers 'full federal support' to Maine governor

08:26 , Jordan King

President Joe Biden told Governor Janet Mills she and the residents of Maine have the "full federal support in the wake of this horrific attack", a White House statement said.

More than 500 mass shootings in the US this year

08:49 , Jordan King

Last night's deadly gun rampage has brought the number of mass shootings in the US this year to 565.

This is according to Gun Violence Archive, an independent research group with no affiliation to any advocacy organisation.

Where did the shootings take place?

08:59 , Jordan King

The gunman opened fire on Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grill in Lewiston, Maine.

Families were playing games at Sparetime Recreation when the shooting started, CNN has reported, with witnesses describing children fleeing once the shooting started.

Schemengees Bar & Grill often hosts family and corporate events, according to its website. It has an arcade area, a darts board and pool tables.

Account from bowler who survived the shooting

09:14 , Jordan King

A bowler, named only as Brandon, was at Sparetime Recreation bowling alley when the shooting started.

He said he heard about 10 shots, thinking the first was a balloon popping while his back was still turned to the door.

When Brandon turned and saw the sound was coming from someone with a weapon he "booked it".

He scrambled down the length of the alley, sliding into the pin area and climbing up to hide in the machinery.

"I was putting on my bowling shoes when when it started. I've been barefoot for five hours," he said.

Brandon was among a busload of survivors who were driven to a middle school in the neighboring city of Auburn to be reunited with family and friends.

The shooter entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine (AP)
The shooter entering Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston, Maine (AP)

Bar close to bowling alley shooting locked customers in for safety

09:27 , Jordan King

A Lewiston bar less than a quarter-mile away from Sparetime Recreation bowling alley, where one of last night's shootings took place, locked its customers inside to keep them safe.

The owner of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, Melinda Small, told how her staff locked their entrances and moved all 25 customers and employees away from the doors after a customer reported hearing about the shooting at the bowling alley.

Soon, the police flooded the roadway and an officer eventually escorted everyone out of the building."I am honestly in a state of shock. I am blessed that my team responded quickly and everyone is safe," Ms Small said. "But at the same time, my heart is broken for this area and for what everyone is dealing with. I just feel numb."

Timeline of last nights shootings

09:33 , Jordan King

About 7pm - Two shootings reported in Lewiston

8pm - Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office releases photo of armed suspect and all businesses advised to "lock down"

8.09pm - Maine State Police announces there is "an active shooter in Lewiston" and tells residents to stay inside

8.53pm - Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant named at locations where shootings took place

9.17pm - Lewiston police release image of white vehicle and ask the public to report any sightings of it

10.52pm - Robert Card named as person of interest

Several roads closed while gunman is still at large

09:47 , Jordan King

Multiple roads in the area around Lewiston have been shut "due to the ongoing investigation", Lewiston Maine Police Department said about an hour ago.

They assured residents of one of the roads (River Rd) that they would be allowed into the closed area.

Police close Lincoln Street leading to Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant (REUTERS)
Police close Lincoln Street leading to Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant (REUTERS)

'My heart is crushed': Restaurant where shooting happened posts message

09:53 , Jordan King

Schemengees Bar & Grill wrote a message on Facebook for the first time since a gunman opened fire there last night.

The post said: "My heart is crushed. I am at a loss for words. In a split second your world gets turn upside down for no good reason.

"We loss great people in this community. How can we make any sense of this. Sending out prayers to everyone."

Restaurant where shooting happened posted about 'industry night discount' before violence erupted

09:59 , Jordan King

Schemengees Bar & Grill posted that it was "industry night" last night, just hours before the deadly shooting took place there.

The venue was offering a 25% discount to anyone who works in the bar or restaurant industry.

Suspect 'may be near secondary school'

10:16 , Jordan King

Local media has reported that police seem to be focusing their search efforts for Robert Card around Lisbon High School.

Journalist Sam Rogers, from the outlet News Center Maine, tweeted at around 3am Maine time: "Two Portland PD tactical trucks, with officers in full gear, arrived at Lisbon High School 20ish minutes ago."

Residents in Lisbon asked to keep sheltering today

11:38 , Jordan King

Residents in Lisbon have been asked to continuing sheltering.

Officials were quoted by NBC News as saying: "Your cooperation with this recommendation is greatly appreciated as we work with several other law enforcement agencies to assure the residents and businesses in the community can go about their daily activities safely."

'It felt like it lasted a lifetime': Mother opens up about horror shooting

11:42 , Jordan King

Mother Riley Dumont said she was at Sparetime Recreation bowling alley during the shooting because her daughter was part of a children's bowling league.

Speaking about the attack, she told ABC News: "It felt like it lasted a lifetime. I just remember people sobbing and crying, and the people around me were not screaming, but, like whimpering, and my mom and I were just trying to keep everybody quiet.”

Her father is a retired police officer and "went into action" to "make sure they were all safe" by putting tables and a big bench in front of the family so the children had somewhere to hide behind.

Maine Police will hold press conference at 3.30pm UK time

11:48 , Jordan King

Maine Police will update reporters at Lewiston City Hall at 10.30am local time.

Shelter in place order expanded to another town

11:54 , Jordan King

Officers have told the residents of the town Bowdoin to join Lisbon and Lewiston locals in not going outside while the gunman is at large.

Maine State Police posted on Facebook: “We are expanding the shelter in place advisory and school closings to include the town of Bowdoin.

“Please stay inside your homes while more than 100 investigators, both local and federal work to locate Robert Card who is a person of interest in the Lewiston shootings.”

'20 children were at bowling alley during shooting'

11:58 , Jordan King

The owner of Sparetime Recreation, Justin Juray, told The New York Times that there were between 100 and 150 people at his bowling alley when the shooting took place and this includded 20 children.

He said the scene was "total chaos".

Police 'gearing up to leave high school they were operating near'

12:21 , Jordan King

A local journalist has said a Portland PD tactical team is getting ready to leave Lisbon High School, after it was reported that they were focusing their search for Robert Card there.

Central Maine Medical Center 'very active right now'

12:29 , Jordan King

"The Central Maine Medical Center is very active right now", News Nation journalist Alex Caprariello said less than an hour ago.

He posted: "Armed police officers stand at attention at every entrance, many of them carrying high powered rifles. The hospital is in lockdown. No visitors can come in to check on their family members."

A nurse reportedly told him that at least 17 people were brought but some have been discharged.

City more than 30 miles from Lewiston shuts schools

12:34 , Jordan King

Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state, has cancelled classes for all schools in Maine's largest city.

It posted on its website this morning: "In light of the evolving incident in Lewiston last night, all Portland schools and Central Office will be closed today, Thursday, October 26th."

Portland is around 36.2 miles away from Lewiston.

FBI helping with search for gunman

12:58 , Jordan King

Agents from the FBI and several other federal agencies have been sent to support police in Maine track down the shooter.

Entire Lisbon police department called to join manhunt

13:01 , Jordan King

Lisbon Chief of Police Ryan McGee has asked his whole department to work on finding the man responsible for last night's deadly shootings.

He told CNN his team had been responding to calls from worried residents "all night long".

He said: "Everybody’s involved we’re just trying to keep the community safe — obviously this is a very tragic incident that happened — we’re doing our job to the best of our abilities to locate this suspect.

“I would say we’re going to not stop until we get him.”

Worker 'immediately' locked down after hearing gunshots

13:01 , Matt Watts

A man who was working at a foundry close to Schemengees restaurant, one of the two known shooting locations, said he "immediately" locked down his place of work after hearing gun shots.

Jeremy Janes spoke to US media outside a hospital in Lewiston.

A friend of Janes's said his son was shot but "was doing OK".

"We're hoping and praying that everyone's OK, and he's OK," Janes told NBC Boston.

Author Stephen King criticises 'apologists for murder'

13:23 , Matt Watts

Best-selling author Stephen King has spoken out about the mass shooting, that he said took place 50 miles from where he lives.

In a post on social media he said he went to high school in Lisbon, where residents have been told to stay in their homes after a "vehicle of interest" was found there.

"It's the rapid-fire killing machines, people," he said, referring to the military-style assault rifle held by the gunman. "This is madness in the name of freedom. Stop electing apologists for murder."

In an earlier post, apparently in reference to the mass shooting, he wrote: "This does not happen in other countries."

King has long been an outspoken advocate for gun control and vocal critic of the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Neighbouring states on alert as manhunt continues

13:41 , Matt Watts

Neighbouring states to Maine have said their police departments are on alert and monitoring the manhunt for the suspect in the Lewiston mass shooting, Robert Card.

"No specific threats have been received, but in the interest of public safety, we are closely monitoring the situation and remain in close communication with our regional law enforcement partners," the Connecticut State Police said in a statement this morning.

Robert L. Quinn, New Hampshire's safety commissioner, urged people to report any suspicious activity to local police.

“We stand with our friends and partners in Maine during this time,” he said. “We are asking all New Hampshire residents to stay vigilant."

Road blocks in place as Lewiston wakes up in lockdown

14:13 , Matt Watts

Pictures show the scene in Lewiston, Maine, where local time is now 9.10am. The town remains in lockdown after the mass shooting last night with road blocks in place.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Major grocery store chain closes all stores in Maine for now

14:27 , Jordan King

Hannaford Supermarkets has not opened its doors to Maine customers this morning.

In a statement posted to social media, the company said its branches would stay closed until 10am this morning local time (in half an hour).

Bowling alley said it "lost some amazing people" during shooting

14:41 , Jordan King

Sparetime Recreation, recently renamed Just-In-Time Recereation, has made its first social media post since last night's horrific shooting.

About 45 minutes ago it posted: "None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is. We are devastated for our community and our staff.

"We lost some amazing and wholehearted people from our bowling family and community last night.

"There are no words to fix this or make it better. We praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts."

Maine town mayor lost people in Lewiston shooting

14:45 , Jordan King

Auburn mayor Jason J. Levesque answered "yes" when he was asked whether he had lost friends in last night's shootings, CNN reported.

He said: "There are going to be very few people in this community that have not been touched by this."

'If you see anything suspicious, please call us' - police

15:03 , Jordan King

Lisbin's police chief has repeated calls for residents to get in touch with police.

He said: “If you look out in your yard, and you're like, that door wasn't open or that trailer wasn't positioned that way – if you see anything suspicious, please call us."

He described the situation as an "active scene" still.

Mass shooting suspect is Army reservist

15:27 , Josh Salisbury

Robert Card, the 40-year-old named as the suspected gunman by police, is an Army reservist.

The US Army said Card was a sergeant in the reserves, working as a petroleum supply specialist.

Eighteen killed, thirteen injured - Maine governor

15:45 , Josh Salisbury

Eighteen people have been confirmed killed, while thirteen people have been injured, a press conference has just heard.

Janet Mills, Maine governor, said US flags would be lowered to half-mast in the wake of the tragedy.

Governor: 'This is dark day for Maine'

15:52 , Josh Salisbury

Governor Mills says she has spoken with US President Joe Biden twice over the mass shooting, whose administration has pledged all available support.

"This is a dark day for Maine," says Governor Mills. "I know it's hard to think about healing when our hearts are broken.

"But I want every person in Maine to know we will heal, we are strong, resilient and we are a very caring people. In the days ahead we will need to lean on those qualities more than ever before."

Ten victims still need to be identified

16:02 , Josh Salisbury

State police have begun outlining a timeline of facts as they are currently known.

Ten of the victims still need to be identified, Maine state police have said.

At 6.56pm, a shooting was first reported at Lewiston, with multiple calls following at 7.08pm in response to an active shooting at a bowling alley.

At the first venue, seven people were killed, one woman and six men.

At the second venue, eight men were killed all of whom were men. Three people later died of their injuries.

Officials cannot give ages of victims

16:11 , Josh Salisbury

Responding to questions, officials said they cannot yet give ages of those deceased.

They say there is an arrest warrant for eight counts of murder for the gunman, but this is because there are still people who haven't been identified.

Biden urges tougher gun laws after shooting

16:38 , Josh Salisbury

Joe Biden has said the nation is mourning after "another senseless and tragic mass shooting" in which 18 people were shot to death.

Urging tougher gun laws, Mr Biden said: "Far too many Americans have now had a family member killed or injured as a result of gun violence. That is not normal, and we cannot accept it."

What is known about the suspect Robert Card?

17:12 , Miriam Burrell

A US Army reservist who is suspected to be behind the shooting had been taken by police for an evaluation after military officials became concerned that he was acting erratically in mid-July, a US official has told AP.

The official said commanders became concerned in mid-July that Robert Card was acting erratically while his unit was training at the US Military Academy in New York.

The official, who remains anonymous, said military commanders became concerned about Card's safety and asked for the police to be called. New York state police took Card to the Keller Army Community Hospital at West Point for evaluation, the official said.

Family of suspected shooter urge him to surrender - reports

18:14 , Miriam Burrell

The family of suspected shooter Robert Card is urging him to surrender, his brother reportedly told CNN.

Ryan Card said in a text message to CNN that the family has "helped law enforcement in anyway possible" and that they are urging Robert to turn himself in.

"The police have been given anything that we can offer to facilitate their efforts," he said, adding that “there are many people hurting out there, please focus on them … this is many people’s worst nightmare.”

Family of bar manager 'suffering in a nightmare'

18:41 , Miriam Burrell

One of the 18 shooting victims has been identified by his father as Joseph Walker to NBC Boston.

Mr Walker was the bar manager at Schemengees Bar and Grille, which was one of the two locations targeted in the attack, his dad Leroy said.

He told NBC Boston that his family was "suffering and dying in a nightmare we don't understand."

"None of us slept, we were up all night," he said.

Describing Joseph, he said he was a "great, great son" and a "loving husband" who had two grandchildren and a stepson.

Coastguard searches for suspect on river

20:29 , Miriam Burrell

Authorities have been searching both on land and water for the shooting suspect.The Coast Guard sent out a patrol boat along the Kennebec River but found nothing. Robert Card's car was discovered by a boat launch near the Androscoggin River and his 15-foot boat remains unaccounted for, authorities said.

It is unclear if Card escaped via his boat.

A wrap: What happened today?

21:48 , Miriam Burrell

The first victims killed in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and bar in the US state of Maine have been named by their families as authorities continue to search for the suspected gunman on land and sea.

Read more here.

Tricia Asselin and Bob Violette
Tricia Asselin and Bob Violette

8 injured people remain in hospital while 3 are critical

21:57 , Miriam Burrell

Eight people injured in the Maine shootings remain in hospital, officials said.Five of the patients are in stable condition and three are critical.

The hospital has not released the ages of the patients.

All of the patients had been identified by late afternoon, said Dr John Alexander, the chief medical officer.

Live coverage ends

22:27 , Miriam Burrell

That's all for today. Please check back tomorrow for our coverage on the shooting.