Maine police suggest the mass shooting suspect that killed 18 on Wednesday’s motive was connected to an ongoing mental health struggle.
“You know, if you talk about is there a motive here, right,” Mike Sauschuck, public safety commissioner, said in a press conference Saturday. “I think, clearly, there’s a mental health component to this.”
Robert Card, the suspect, had been hospitalized in a mental health facility over the summer, law enforcement said.
Sauschuck did not provide an exact motive for the shooting, but pointed to Card’s ongoing struggle with mental health.
According to law enforcement, Card left a note to a “loved one” that contained the password to his phone, bank account information. The note, Sauschuck said, wasn’t “an explicit suicide note” but had the “tone and tenor” suggesting Card would not be found alive.
Card’s body was found at a recycling center where he previously worked. He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said.
His death comes after the mass shooting — which occurred in two separate locations, a bowling alley and restaurant — left at least 18 people dead and 13 injured. The shooting led local and federal law enforcement on a multi-day manhunt in search of Card.
Police began searching the waterways in the area looking for the suspect and issued a shelter-in-place order for several counties in the area while the search was ongoing. It was later removed.
“I would say that the mental health aspect of this, there’s a piece of that, where there’s paranoia, there’s some conspiracy theorists piece that I think of what I’ve read and what I’ve seen is that the individual felt like people were talking about him,” Sauschuck said. “It may even appear that there were some voices in play here. And we don’t believe that any of that is accurate and they think that led him specifically back to those two specific locations.”
Sauschuck said it helped police think about where he used to work and where he might be headed next during the chase. Local and federal law enforcement helped in the search that began in Lewiston, Maine, where the restaurant, Schemengees Bar and Grille, and Sparetime Recreation bowling alley are located, and spread to neighboring Lisbon where the recycling plant is located.
The investigation is ongoing, Sauschuck said. He expects there will be law enforcement at all of the sites throughout the weekend conducting research and gathering evidence.
Sauschuck thanked the local and federal police efforts that helped during the two-day hunt. He said there will be mental health and support systems set up for the families of the victims, which were confirmed Friday, and the for the public dealing with the aftermath.
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