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A suspect is still at large after 2 mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Maine's governor says 18 people were killed in a mass shooting in the central Maine city of Lewiston. Thirteen others were injured. Many are hospitalized. Police are searching for one man. They say he's wanted for murder in the killings. People in Lewiston and surrounding communities are being urged to shelter in place.

Maine Public's Patty Wight was at the press conference in Lewiston just a few moments ago, where the governor and law enforcement leaders spoke. Patty, what can you tell us about the search?

PATTY WIGHT, BYLINE: Well, the man that authorities are looking for is still at large. And earlier - or last night, they described him as a person of interest. They are now describing him as a suspect in the killings that - the mass shootings that happened last night. It was at two separate locations about 4 miles apart. The first shooting took place at a bowling alley. The second one took place at a bar and billiards hall. And we now know that 18 people were killed and 13 were injured.

MARTÍNEZ: And I know that police are asking for people's help to try and find him. Who exactly are they looking for?

WIGHT: So Robert Card - he's a 40-year-old man from Bowdoin. Officials aren't saying a lot about him, but there have been reports that he is a trained firearms instructor. And also, there have been reports that he has had mental health issues recently and spent some time in a mental health facility this summer. Authorities won't really comment on those details or what a possible motive may have been, but they have - they said that Robert Card has been charged with eight counts of homicide, and that will likely grow as they identify the people who were killed in the shootings.

MARTÍNEZ: And what exactly are police asking the public to do?

WIGHT: They're asking them to shelter in place, specifically in Lewiston, where the shootings occurred - also Lisbon, where Card's car was found, and also in Bowdoin, the town that Card is from.

MARTÍNEZ: And everything's closed - right? - no school today or anything like that.

WIGHT: That's right. No school today. And actually, in many surrounding communities, schools have closed. Municipal offices have shut down. Businesses have delayed opening or aren't opening at all.

MARTÍNEZ: And I know that these mass shooting events are always a shock for any community. I mean, why wouldn't they be? Maine, though - one of the safest states in the nation. What's happening in Lewiston today?

WIGHT: Well, Governor Janet Mills said that she is deploying any resources that are necessary, including grief counselors, to help people. I mean, right now in Lewiston, people really are just staying in place. When you are out and about, there are not a lot of people around. But there are resources available for people who need it - grief counselors and things like that.

MARTÍNEZ: And what's your general sense over just how the area and the community is trying to deal with this? I mean, I mentioned how it's a shock for any place, but, I mean, for a place like Maine - we mentioned how safe it is - I mean, it's got to be just something that's not only just shocking, but also terrifying, too.

WIGHT: It is shocking, and it is terrifying. I think people are on edge because this individual is still at large. And as you said, you know, Maine is considered a very safe state. And even though I've spoken to people who have said, you know, that, you know, they know that this is a possibility because this is the world that we live in, they - you know, it's not something that you expect to happen just the same, and, of course, you hope it never does. And it's very, very terrifying.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. Maine Public's Patty Wight. Patty, thank you very much for updating us on all this.

WIGHT: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Patty is a graduate of the University of Vermont and a multiple award-winning reporter for Maine Public Radio. Her specialty is health coverage: from policy stories to patient stories, physical health to mental health and anything in between. Patty joined Maine Public Radio in 2012 after producing stories as a freelancer for NPR programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She got hooked on radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, and hasn’t looked back ever since.