Police in Maine, USA, were continuing their search this morning (local time) for Robert Card, the US Army reservist who allegedly killed 18 people and injured 13 others in a shooting spree at a bowling alley and bar. of the city of Lewiston on Wednesday night.

Authorities urged residents of Lewiston, Lisbon and Bowdin — Card’s reported home — to stay indoors.some of the police operations were broadcast live on television.

On Thursday night, police officers searched several houses, including the family home of 40-year-old Card, in the neighboring town of Boudin.

THE police surrounded the house for more than two hours, with one of his agents F.B.I to ask through a loudspeaker its occupants to “come out with their hands up”. However, no one was inside.

“We do not know at this time if Robert Card is at one of the homes law enforcement is investigating,” Maine police wrote on Platform X, citing “multiple search warrants.

THE Lewiston it has turned into a ghost town, with schools and shops remaining closed, while the parking lot at the town’s high school is filled with armed police. Almost no cars were on the roads yesterday and only a few people had come out of their homes.

Members of law enforcement in bulletproof vests guard the hospital where many of the victims of Card’s attack have been treated.

According to a law enforcement release, Card was a weapons instructor at the Seiko base in Maine. He recently reportedly said he was hearing voices and experiencing other psychiatric issues. He had threatened to open fire on the base and was hospitalized for two weeks over the summer before being released, the Maine Intelligence and Analysis Center, a unit of the state police, said.

Police released photos of a bearded man wearing a brown sweater and jeans, armed with a semi-automatic weapon.

State police located one white SUV in which Card is believed to have gone to the town of Lisbon, about seven miles southeast of Lewiston, immediately after the massacre.

The carnage has shocked the entire Androscoggin Countywhich adds to the long list of American areas plagued by gun violence.

The number of mass murders – with four or more victims – has skyrocketed in the US since the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, 647 such attacks were recorded, and this year, based on the July trend, it was predicted to reach 679.

More than 15,000 people have died so far this year in the country in incidents involving firearms, excluding suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

The deadliest attack in modern US history is the massacre of 58 people by a gunman who opened fire on music festival goers from a high-rise hotel in Las Vegas.

Legal and license-free gun ownership in Maine

Since 2012, there have been about 16 to 19 homicides annually in Maine, while 18 people died in just one night on Wednesday.

Maine’s gun laws are relatively lax. In this rural state on Canada’s northeastern border, about half of adults live in a household that owns at least one gun, according to a 2020 RAND Corporation study.

Authorities do not require a permit to buy or carry a gun, and regulations in other states that allow law enforcement officers to temporarily disarm those they deem a “danger” to public safety do not apply.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from Lewiston, told reporters that after the tragedy, he has changed his stance and now supports a ban on assault weapons.

“I am now asking the US Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the perpetrator of this mass murder in my hometown,” he said during a press conference.