Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, whose jurisdiction consists of Card’s dwelling in Bowdoin, mentioned the Military Reserve notified his division in September of the reservist’s threats, and the sheriff despatched an consciousness alert to each regulation enforcement company within the state after his deputy got here again empty-handed. A welfare test was delivered to the cardboard home.
“We could not find him,” Merry mentioned, including that he could not keep in mind if there was any follow-up as a result of “I haven’t got any reviews in entrance of me.”
Navy officers declined to remark additional about Card, particularly whether or not the threats conveyed to the sheriff in September had been new or the identical threats Card made throughout an Military Reserve coaching train close to West Level, New York, in July. That is when police mentioned Card was detained in a psychological facility for 2 weeks after performing erratically and “listening to voices and threats to shoot” at a army base.
Authorities say Card, 40, fired a high-powered rifle right into a bowling alley after which a bar in Lewiston on Wednesday evening, killing 18 individuals and wounding 13 others. After an intense two-day search that put the state on the brink, Card was discovered lifeless on Friday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Regardless of earlier threats, the FBI mentioned Saturday Card was not on its radar, telling the AP that it “has not had nor obtained any suggestions or info regarding Robert Card.” The workplace added that its Immediate Background Verify system “was not supplied with or in possession of any info that will forestall the cardboard from buying a authorized firearm.”
Card’s case represents a stark instance of purple flags being ignored, with many unanswered questions on what the army, police, psychological well being professionals and family members might have executed to forestall the bloodbath.
Whereas Maine doesn’t have a purple flag regulation, it does have a extra restricted regulation.” Yellow flag “The regulation would nonetheless permit police to petition a decide to take firearms from somebody if a health care provider deems that particular person a menace.
For his half, Saco Police Chief Clements defended his division’s response to the alert about Card, which he described as “a basic factor that got here out saying, you understand, we have had some reviews that this man made some veiled threats.”
Clements famous that his division receives many such alerts and that his officers paid due consideration to the alert, monitoring the bottom for any signal of the cardboard.
“I by no means had any contact with this man, and I by no means obtained any cellphone calls from the reserve heart saying, ‘Hey, we’ve somebody inflicting an issue,’” he mentioned. “We by no means obtained something.”
One other regulation enforcement company that has been involved with Card is the New York State Police, which had been referred to as on July 16 at West Level by commanders of the Military Reserve’s third Battalion, 304th Infantry Regiment, to specific issues about Card’s erratic conduct and “threats to different members.” . from his army unit” throughout a coaching train, in keeping with a state police doc obtained by the AP. State Police troopers took Card, a sergeant top quality, to Keller Military Group Hospital at West Level for a two-week psychological well being analysis.
What the New York State Police did about Card’s threats is unclear. The company declined to remark to The Related Press on the case and didn’t reply to a request for reviews or attainable physique digital camera footage of their interactions with Card.
“That is an energetic investigation, and the New York State Police don’t touch upon ongoing investigations, nor investigations for which we’re not the lead company,” she mentioned in a press release on Friday earlier than Card was discovered lifeless. A state police spokesman declined to remark Saturday.
Jonathan Crisp, an Military lawyer for twenty years earlier than beginning to apply prison protection, mentioned that when troopers are involuntarily dedicated to psychological well being amenities by others within the chain of command, it’s a “reportable” occasion beneath Military laws that triggers the necessity for an alert. . Others. The sheriff enters the incident right into a army database that flags the FBI so he can enter the identify right into a backlist of individuals prohibited from shopping for weapons.
“In the event that they take him and he does not need to go and refuses to let him in, that is inevitable,” Crisp mentioned. “This could have been reported.”
However Maine Division of Public Security Commissioner Michael Sawchuk mentioned at a information convention Saturday that though Card has a historical past of psychological sickness, there isn’t a proof he ever dedicated a forcible murder.
“Simply because there appears to be a psychological well being connection to this state of affairs, the overwhelming majority of people that get a psychological well being prognosis would by no means harm anybody,” Sawchuk mentioned.
Police in a single state can alert their counterparts in one other that somebody poses a hazard, and the army can do the identical with native police, mentioned Judy Madera, an Indiana College regulation professor who has studied gun legal guidelines.
She mentioned somebody dropped the ball as a result of Card’s threats and medical analysis ought to have resulted in his weapons being confiscated with a yellow flag when he returned dwelling.
“It slipped via the cracks,” Madeira mentioned. “There have been warning indicators.”