A shooter in Maine left a note that stated, “He is trained to harm people”

In the months leading up to the tragic mass shooting in Lewiston, efforts by the New York State Police to mitigate a looming threat proved insufficient. The narrative that unfolds from body camera footage and subsequent investigations into Robert Card’s actions reveals a harrowing journey from distress to disaster.

Body camera footage, secured through a freedom of information act request, captures the police’s attempts to address Card’s growing paranoia and disturbing accusations against him by his Army reserve unit peers.

Despite their concerns, which included alarming statements and behavior indicating potential violence, legal constraints and Card’s own resistance hampered their ability to take more definitive action.

The footage reveals a poignant effort by law enforcement to bridge the gap between perceived threats and Card’s sense of isolation, with officers delicately trying to reassure him of his comrades’ intentions.

However, Card’s conviction that he was being wronged persisted, highlighting the complexities of addressing mental health issues within the context of potential violence.

The story takes a darker turn with the disclosure of Card’s brief stay in a psychiatric facility, which ultimately did not deter his path to violence. A note found on Card’s phone, expressing a breaking point and a readiness to harm, starkly illustrates the depth of his crisis.

Further investigation into the incident revealed Card’s acquisition of firearms, including the high-caliber rifle used in the massacre, shortly after his interaction with police.

This development, alongside an estimated $20,000 to $30,000 worth of weaponry, underscores the challenges faced by communities and law enforcement in preempting acts of violence, even amidst clear warning signs.

As the case continues to unfold, it serves as a critical case study on the intersections of mental health, community safety, and the complexities of intervening in situations where the risk of violence is apparent but difficult to quantify and prevent.