Law enforcement agencies have descended upon southern Maine to search for Robert Card, the suspect in Wednesday’s mass shootings — but his background could make the effort to find him both challenging and dangerous, experts told CNN.
“This is a person who has military training. They have an elevated level of firearms proficiency, but they also have the knowledge of military tactics, most notably evasion and the strategy on how to go undetected,” said CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Jonathan Wackrow. “All of that going on is challenging to law enforcement.”
His experience with guns: Card is a certified firearms instructor, law enforcement officials in Maine told CNN. And while he’s had no deployments, records provided by the Army indicate Card is a petroleum supply specialist in the Army reserve.
The 40-year-old never saw combat, according to Clifford Steeves, a former colleague in Card’s Army Reserve Unit. But Card received extensive training, including with firearms, he said, adding Card was a skilled marksman and among the best shooters in their unit.
Familiar with the outdoors: Much of the search is happening in a wooded area — and Card may be comfortable in the outdoors simply by virtue of being a resident of Maine, said Rob D’Amico, a retired FBI agent and former member of the bureau’s Hostage Rescue Team.
“I would say living up in Maine he has more outdoor experience than most people get in their bootcamp experience in the Army,” D’Amico said.
His careful planning: Several law enforcement experts also pointed to what they said was evidence of careful planning by the suspect.
One example is the location where his white Subaru was found — at the Pejepscot Boat Launch in Lisbon, about 8 miles southeast of Lewiston, raising the possibility that he absconded on the water.
“The question is, does he have a boat there? Or is he aware of a boat he could take there, and is that a second part of the plan, or just because he has done his shooting and he is in escape mode and it’s where he ended up? Those are unknowns,” said CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller.
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