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HomeworldHunt for 'armed and dangerous' US gunman who killed 18

Hunt for 'armed and dangerous' US gunman who killed 18

LEWISTON, United States: Hundreds of police in the US state of Maine hunted on Thursday (Oct 26) for a fugitive gunman who killed 18 people at a bowling alley and a bar, as President Joe Biden mourned “yet another senseless and tragic mass shooting”.

The rampage in the small northeastern town of Lewiston also left 13 people wounded, three critically, in the deadliest shooting this year in America.

A wide area around Lewiston was locked down during the tense search as authorities erected roadblocks, ordered schools and businesses closed, and told residents to stay indoors.

Governor Janet Mills said the suspect was “considered armed and dangerous, and police advise that Maine people should not approach him under any circumstances”.

“This attack strikes at the very heart of who we are and the values we hold dear,” Mills told a press conference. “This is a dark day for Maine.”

Police named the suspect as 40-year-old Robert Card – seen in surveillance footage pointing a semi-automatic rifle as he walked into the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley.

Police converged on the home of Card’s father in nearby Bowdoin early Thursday evening, closing off roads.

One longtime neighbour, Dave Letarte, said news of the shooting “floored me”.

“I would have never expected that from him,” he told AFP of the younger Card.

Joseph Walker, a manager at the Schemengees Bar & Grille, was among those killed the night before, his father Leroy Walker told NBC News.

Walker said his family was “suffering and dying in a nightmare we don’t understand”.

“We were up all night. We didn’t know where to go, who to turn to,” he said.

DAILY MASS SHOOTINGS

Police and rescuers reportedly arrived at the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley at about 7.15pm in response to an active shooter, and then received reports of another shooting at the Schemengees Bar Bar & Grille.

In surveillance images of Card at the bowling alley, he appeared calm and composed as he moved through the doorway with his rifle raised.

Officers located a “vehicle of interest” – a white sport utility vehicle – in Lisbon, a town around 12km from Lewiston.

The shooting is one of the deadliest in the US since 2017, when a gunman opened fire on a crowded music festival in Las Vegas, killing 60 people.

Mass shootings are alarmingly common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on their spread are always met with stiff resistance.

The country has recorded at least 565 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a non-governmental organization that defines a mass shooting as four or more people wounded or killed.

Efforts to tighten gun controls routinely run up against opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms.

The political paralysis endures despite widespread outrage over recurring shootings.

Related:

US sets a grim milestone with new record for the deadliest six months of mass killings

Police hunt for man linked to major mass shootings in Maine
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