President on Saturday expressed condolences for the 18 people killed in mass shootings in Maine as officials provided new information about the investigation, including details about a note left by the suspected gunman, who was found dead late Friday.
Maine Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck said he believed the 40-year-old Army reservist suspected of Wednesday’s shootings had been familiar with both the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, where seven people died, and Schemengees Bar & Grille, where eight men died, both in Lewiston. Three more people died in local hospitals.
Officials found a paper note on Thursday when searching for a home connected to Robert Card, the suspected shooter. Sauschuck said it appeared to be addressed to a loved one and included passcodes for a phone and bank account.
On Saturday morning, President Joe Biden called it “a tragic two days” for families in Maine devastated by gun violence.
“At least eighteen souls brutally slain and more injured, and scores of family and friends praying and experiencing trauma no one ever wants to imagine,” Biden said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We’re grateful that Lewiston and surrounding communities are now safe. I thank the brave law enforcement officers who worked around the clock to find this suspect.”
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The search for the suspected shooter had gone on since Wednesday night. At around 7:45 p.m. Friday, officials found the body of the suspected shooter in the back of a box trailer at a recycling center’s overflow parking lot, just southeast of Lewiston in Lisbon Falls. The owner of the business told officials Card knew the business and the property, which had upwards of 55 trailers at the site that hadn’t been searched.
This was a tragic two days for the families in Maine who have been devastated by gun violence.
At least eighteen souls brutally slain and more injured, and scores of family and friends praying and experiencing trauma no one ever wants to imagine.
We’re grateful that Lewiston…
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 28, 2023
Officials on Saturday said they had opened a family assistance center and counseling to residents. A vigil was scheduled for Saturday evening.
“The entire city is a scene,” Sauschuck said, describing how closely connected people were to the mass shooting in the small community.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Maine mass shootings: Note from suspected gunman; Biden condolences