Maine mass shooting: Police suggest suicide note was found during search for suspect

A message which police have suggested had the "tone" of a suicide note was discovered in the search for the suspect in the Maine mass shooting, officials have said.

Mike Sauschuck, Maine's public safety commissioner, said the body of suspect Robert Card was found in the back of a trailer near a recycling centre in Lisbon Falls on Friday.

He said a paper-style note containing a phone password and banking details was also discovered following the fatal shooting - in which 18 people were killed.

Mr Sauschuck described the message, which was addressed to a loved one, as "not explicitly a suicide note" but one which had the "tone of an individual who was not going to be around".

Asked about a possible motive for the deadly attack, Mr Sauschuck said there was "a mental health component".

However, he said Card had never been forcibly committed for treatment for mental health - and therefore would not have shown up during background checks when buying a gun.

Card was found dead on Friday following Wednesday's attack - the deadliest mass shooting in the US this year and in the history of the state of Maine.

Among those killed in the shooting, at the Just-In-Time bowling alley and Schemengees Bar and Grille in Lewiston, were a father-of-four, described by his wife as the "world's best father", and a father and his 14-year-old son.

A further 13 people were injured, with three still in "critical care", according to Mr Sauschuck.

Police said Card's body was found near the Androscoggin River in the Lisbon Falls area, at a recycling facility where he recently worked.

Mr Sauschuck said police searching for Card had twice cleared the recycling centre before his body was discovered in the back of a trailer in a nearby car park.

Officers believe Card died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

His mobile phone and a gun were also found in a white Subaru that was identified as belonging to him, while two guns were found on his body.

Officials told a press conference in Lewiston on Saturday that the guns appear to have been bought legally by Card.

The search for Card, a former army reservist, spread across multiple locations in the state and involved at least 80 FBI agents and Coast Guard personnel.

Residents in Lewiston and the surrounding areas of Lisbon, Bowdoin, and Yarmouth, were put under a "shelter in place order" while police conducted the manhunt.

Who is Robert Card?

Card is thought to have 20 years of military service, previously worked as an army firearms instructor and recently spent time at a mental health facility after hearing voices, according to an internal police notice.

He is said to have been a sergeant first class in the army reserve, specialising in petroleum supply, but had no previous combat deployments overseas since enlisting in 2002, according to the US Army.

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During his time in the forces, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defence Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

'Horrific tragedy'

Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley posted an emotional Facebook message in the aftermath of the attack.

"None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is," it read. "We are devastated for our community and our staff. We lost some amazing and wholehearted people from our bowling family and community last night.

"There are no words to fix this or make it better. We [are] praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts."

Schemengees Bar and Grille also posted a message on the social media platform.

"My heart is crushed," the post said. "I am at a loss for words."

The unidentified writer said their world had been turned "upside down", and referred to the "loss" of lives.

"How can we make any sense of this. Sending out prayers to everyone," they added.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email Alternatively, letters can be mailed to: Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS.