LEWISTON, Maine – Robert Card, the U.S. Army reservist who killed 18 people at a Maine bowling alley and a bar while also wounding 13 others, may have intentionally targeted individuals at those locations due to alleged rumors being spread, according to witness statements obtained by investigators in the case.
Maine State Police and the Maine Department of Public Safety released files of investigative documents on Tuesday, including search warrants, affidavits, criminal records and more that revealed a possible motive for the lethal rampage carried out by Card, 40, at the Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just In Time bowling alley on Oct. 25, Fox News Digital reported.
Card knew people at both locations and may have believed they were calling him a “pedophile,” according to several witnesses, including Card’s son and brother.
The mass murderer reportedly experienced a similar encounter over the summer when he accused members of his Army Reserves unit of calling him a pedophile. As a result of the incident, Army officials had him undergo a mental health evaluation.
Card’s brother told investigators that his sibling believed there was a “conspiracy” involving people “accusing him of being a pedophile,” and Card believed that some businesses were spreading rumors of him being a pedophile online, according to a police affidavit.
One person interviewed hours after the deadly rampage occurred said Card believed local businesses, including Schemengees Bar and Grille and the Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley, were “broadcasting online that Robert was a pedophile.”
Another witness, whose name was redacted, knew Card well. The individual had previously visited both businesses with the eventual gunman. The person said Card specifically mentioned Joey Walker, the manager of Schemengees Bar and Grille, as one of the individuals who he thought had disparaged him, according to an affidavit filed in a request to access Card’s cell phone records. Walker was one of the victims killed in the massacre.
Investigators also shed light on how the pedophile allegations may have begun, according to Fox.
Card’s girlfriend had two young daughters that he would take out to eat at Schemengees, “and that is where the pedophile thing in Robert’s head came from as Robert was there with (his girfriend’s) two daughters on occasions and felt that people were looking at him,” the witness said.
Additional details revealed by witnesses and documented in the affidavits included moments of paranoia, a breakup with his girlfriend that took an emotional toll, statements that Card was hearing things and that he became delusional.
Card spent two weeks at a private psychiatric hospital in New York. He was prescribed medication but later quit taking it, according to a police affidavit filed in support of an arrest warrant.
Bryce Dubee, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army, told Fox News that Card was taken to a military medical treatment facility at West Point on July 15. Hence, he did not participate in annual training.
On Aug. 3, the Army determined that Card shouldn’t be armed while on military duty and declared him to be non-deployable.
A fellow soldier said he feared Card was “going to snap and commit a mass shooting” because he was hearing voices again, according to documents released by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office. As a result, Card’s unit sought a welfare check on Sept. 15 since they were “concerned for his well-being,” Dubee noted.
Deputies were dispatched to visit Card’s home in Bowdoin, about 10 miles southeast of Lewiston, that same day, but were unable to find him. A second welfare check was also unsuccessful.
Hence, the sheriff’s office sent out a statewide alert seeking assistance in locating Card, who they warned was “armed and dangerous.”
Card failed to report to battle assembly in September and October. The excuse he provided his unit was that he had a work conflict, Dubee said.
The sheriff’s office canceled its statewide alert for Card on Oct. 18.
The massacre occurred one week later, prompting a statewide manhunt. The gunman was found dead Oct. 27, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a recycling plant in Libson Falls, Maine, a place he once worked.