Home » Maine sheriff had probable cause to detain Maine gunman before mass shooting, independent report claims

Maine sheriff had probable cause to detain Maine gunman before mass shooting, independent report claims

by John Jefferson
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Law enforcement had probable cause to take gunman Robert Card into custody a month prior to the devastating mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, an independent commission claims.

The Independent Commission to Investigate the Facts of the Tragedy in Lewiston, which probed the circumstances that led up to the Oct. 25 mass murder, claims law enforcement had all the information necessary to act but failed to do so.

“The Commission is unanimous in finding that in September 2023, the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office (hereinafter SCSO) had sufficient probable cause to take Robert Card Jr. into protective custody under Maine’s Yellow Flag law and to remove his firearms and that the SCSO had probable cause to believe that Mr. Card posed a likelihood of serious harm.”


The commission determined Card was visited on multiple occasions by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office and sufficient evidence was found to utilize the state’s “yellow flag” law. 

In addition to his mental health issues, U.S. Army officials and law enforcement were aware of several concerning factors in Card’s behavior by September 2023. 

It was known that Card was in possession of at least ten guns, had threatened his direct superiors, assaulted a friend and had threatened to shoot up a military armory in Saco, Maine.

Maine’s unique “yellow flag” law allows individuals close to a person suspected of violent machinations to report their concerns to law enforcement. Police are then able to take the individual into protective custody and request a mental health check.


Robert Card is pictured

If the individual is found to be mentally unstable, his license and guns can be confiscated until circumstances change.

The commission’s report claims multiple individuals close to Card expressed concern to authorities that the Army reservist, who had severe mental health issues, was becoming dangerous.

“The Commission recognizes that, to take Mr. Card into protective custody, an officer would have had to make ‘face-to-face’ contact with him,” the report states. “We also recognize that that process might not have been without difficulty and potential risk. Taking Mr. Card into protective custody, however, was warranted by the information known […] , and a plan to intervene and take Mr. Card into protective custody should have been undertaken.”

Card opened fire at two locations in Lewiston — a bowling alley and a bar — killing 18 people and injuring 13 others.

After a two-day manhunt, the shooter was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“The Commission will continue to pursue the facts in this case and will conduct additional public hearings to gather additional testimony, materials, and reports to gather all the necessary information to determine what happened before, during and after the tragic shootings on October 25, 2023,” the commission announced in its report.

“Upon completion of that investigation, a final comprehensive report, together with recommendations, will be issued and published on the Commission’s website. More work needs to be done and it will be done — the victims, their families and the people of Maine deserve no less.”

Read the full article here

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