Title: Tragic Shooting in Maine Sparks Concerns of Missed Red Flags
In a devastating incident that has left the state of Maine in shock, a 40-year-old Army Reserve member opened fire on a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston, resulting in the loss of 18 innocent lives and leaving 13 others injured. The shooter, Robert Card, was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The incident has raised serious questions about missed red flags and whether more could have been done to prevent the tragedy. It was revealed that the Army Reserve had tipped off the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department in September about threats made by Card. However, a welfare check yielded no significant results, prompting the sheriff to send an awareness alert to law enforcement agencies across the state.
This was not the first time Card had exhibited concerning behavior. During an Army reserve training exercise in July, he had made threats that led to his two-week commitment to a mental health facility. Surprisingly, the FBI claims that Card had not been on their radar and they had not received any tips or information related to him.
The case has brought attention to the absence of a red flag law in Maine, which could have potentially prevented Card from having access to firearms. Although the state does have a limited “yellow-flag” law that enables police to petition a judge to remove firearms if a medical practitioner deems someone a threat, its effectiveness has been called into question.
Law enforcement agencies have faced scrutiny regarding their response to the alerts. Saco police defended their actions, stating that they had given the alert due attention but had no direct contact with Card. Similarly, the New York State Police, who were involved due to Card’s erratic behavior and threats during the training exercise, declined to comment on their interactions with him or the measures taken.
Army regulations require the reporting of involuntary commitments to mental health facilities, which should trigger a background check alerting the FBI. However, the Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner stated that there was no evidence of Card being involuntarily committed.
Experts agree that someone failed to act on the warning signs, suggesting that Card should have had his firearms seized upon his return home. The tragedy highlights the urgent need for improved protocols to ensure the safety of individuals and communities.
As investigations continue, the community mourns the loss of the innocent lives cut short and ponder the heartbreaking question of whether more could have been done to prevent this senseless act of violence.
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