The U.S. senators from Maine are calling on the inspector general of the U.S. Army to conduct “a comprehensive review of the events surrounding the Lewiston shooting.”

U.S. Sens. Angus King, an independent, and Susan Collins, a Republican, are calling on the inspector general of the U.S. Army to conduct “a comprehensive review” of the events surrounding the mass shooting Oct. 25 in Lewiston. Above, King, left, and Collins participate Nov. 18, 2022, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Waterville to celebrate completion of a Main Street revitalization project. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald file

In a joint letter released Monday, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said it is “important that we understand what occurred, or failed to occur, at the federal level, including within the Department of the Army” in dealing with Robert Card, a mentally ill Army reservist from Bowdoin who killed 18 people and injured 13 on Oct. 25 at two Lewiston entertainment venues.

“As Congress exercises its oversight responsibilities and considers potential legislation, we request that your office conduct a comprehensive review of the facts and events leading up to the Lewiston shooting,” the senators wrote in their announcement. “Nothing we can do will bring back the lives lost in this tragedy, but we can work together to help prevent future shootings.”

Card, a sergeant first class in the Army Reserve, was evaluated by Army personnel, who sent him to the Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, New York, for two weeks in July, knew he had threatened to “shoot up” an Army facility in Saco and had directed that Card “should not have a weapon, handle ammunition or participate in live-fire activity.”

“As we continue to grieve the needless loss of life that day, we must work to fully understand what happened — and what could have been done differently that might have prevented this tragedy — on the local, state, and federal levels,” Collins and King wrote.

The senators hailed Gov. Janet Mills’ announcement that she plans “an independent commission to evaluate ‘the facts of what happened on that tragic night, of the months that led up to it, and of the police response to it.’”


“It is also important that we understand what occurred, or failed to occur, at the federal level, including within the Department of the Army,” the senators wrote.

In their letter to Lt. Gen. Donna W. Martin, the Army’s inspector general, Maine’s senators asked a number of questions, including: “What concerns were raised by (or to) Army personnel regarding Mr. Card, including with regard to his mental health? When were those concerns raised, and what actions were taken in response?”

They asked if “all existing Army regulations, policies, and procedures” were followed in dealing with Card.

They questioned what circumstances are needed for the Army to report its personnel to the national background check system used to weed out some potential gun buyers.

“Under what circumstances would the Army seek to invoke a state’s crisis intervention laws to temporarily remove firearms from the possession of a soldier who is a danger to themselves or others?” the senators asked. “Were any attempts to invoke such laws made with regard to Mr. Card?”

They asked if there was anything Army personnel should or could have done within existing law to prevent the massacre in Lewiston.


“Are there any existing laws, regulations, policies, or procedures that prevented the Army from alerting or communicating with any judicial, law enforcement, healthcare, or other entities that could have taken action to prevent the mass shooting on October 25, 2023?” King and Collins wrote.

They also asked, “What reforms or actions, if any, is the Army undertaking in response” to Card’s shooting spree?

“What actions does your office believe the Army should take?” the senators asked Martin.

They also asked Martin “to coordinate your review with any other entities that may have relevant information” and to “begin your work on this matter expeditiously.”

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