For the second day, hundreds of American police officers are searching for 40-year-old Robert Card. According to investigators, he is the one who shot at least 18 people in two locations in the city of Lewiston, Maine, on the night from Wednesday to Thursday.
According to security experts, the search may still be long and complicated. A complication may also be that the police officers are not facing just any criminal, but probably men with rich skills and experience from army training.
He is in his element in the woods
The local authorities do not yet know what motive Robert Card had for murdering people in a bowling alley and a nearby restaurant. However, according to unnamed sources from the security forces, the suspect apparently had ties to both places. In one case, through his ex-girlfriend, reports the American station ABC.
Additional information about the perpetrator is also coming to the surface. For example, according to investigators, Card watched “conspiracy content” on the Internet and probably left a farewell letter for his son in his home, ABC writes further, citing its sources.
Unofficially, other facts from Card’s life have also been appearing since Thursday, such as the fact that he is a US Army reservist.
According to Maine State Police, there have been two shooting incidents in Lewiston; one took place at a bowling alley and the other at a restaurant located about a 10-minute drive from the first crime scene. According to state authorities, the shooting began around 7:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
“He is a man with military training. He has a higher level of knowledge of firearms, but also knowledge of military tactics, especially evasive maneuvers and strategies to remain undetected… All of this is challenging for law enforcement agencies,” said security analyst Jonathan Wackrow for the American CNN.
Card’s former Army reservist colleague Clifford Steeves further told CNN that the possible perpetrator had undergone extensive training, including in marksmanship, and described him as a sharpshooter who was among the best in the group. But it was never used directly in combat.
He further informed that the man on the run had also completed navigation training and described him as an “outdoorsy person” who is in his element in the woods. American investigators continue to search for the man in them as well.
It is the knowledge of the woods that may be an advantage for Card, as retired FBI agent and former member of the hostage rescue team Rob D’Amico also told CNN. “I would say that living in Maine, he has more experience in the outdoors than most people in an Army boot camp…His knowledge of weapons makes him a little more dangerous,” he said.
Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison expressed concern about Cardo that he might be able to “cause bloodshed” again if he were to clash with officers.
Not much is known about the victims of the attacks. But a few of them appeared to be participating in a cornhole tournament for the deaf at Schemengees Bar & Grill.
Another reason why Robert Cardo has not yet been caught may be the fact that he planned the attack in advance, as CNN analyst Wackrow believes.
According to him, the fact that the man managed to escape from the two places where he shot indicated that he had “sophisticatedly” planned the attack.
The suspect left the car parked at a boat ramp about 7 miles outside of Lewiston. It is therefore necessary to take into account the possibility that he escaped by water.
“The question is: Is there a ship there? Or he knows of a ship he could get there. Is this the second part of his plan or (he left the car here) just because he did the shooting and is now in escape mode and ended up right there? We don’t know that,” said CNN senior security and intelligence analyst John Miller.
“This is not just a manhunt in a small area, but someone who has the means and training to get away from the police,” added analyst Miller.