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Why suspected Maine gunman allegedly targeted bowling alley, bar

Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Suspected Maine gunman Robert Card allegedly targeted a bowling alley and bar he believed were broadcasting messages that he was a pedophile, according to an arrest warrant released Tuesday.

Card’s sister contacted police about two hours after the first shots were fired in last week’s rampage in Lewiston to say the suspect in the photograph authorities distributed was her brother, according to the warrant.

The sister told police that Card had “been delusional since a February 2023 bad break-up” and had lost weight, been hospitalized for mental health treatment and had stopped taking prescribed medication.

The sister told police Card believed the businesses where the shootings unfolded — Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille — were broadcasting messages that he was a pedophile, according to the warrant.

At least 18 people were killed in the Oct. 25. mass shooting. Card was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound two days after a massive manhunt, officials said.

Card’s concerns over being labeled a pedophile began months before the shooting, according to a Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by ABC News via records requests.

His son told a Sagadahoc County deputy that around January “he noticed his father was starting to claim that people were saying things about him, while out in public,” the deputy wrote in the report.

Card’s son said his father was “likely hearing voices or starting to experience paranoia,” a “re-occurring theme” as Card claimed derogatory things were being said about him, “such as calling him a pedophile,” the deputy wrote.

In July, Card — an Army reservist — accused fellow soldiers of calling him a pedophile before getting into a physical confrontation with one of them, according to a letter from Card’s Army reserve unit sent to the sheriff’s office.

That incident led to Card being evaluated by an Army psychologist who determined he needed further treatment; Card was taken to Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital in Katonah, New York for treatment and evaluation in mid-July and was released after 14 days, according to an email from a member of Card’s army reserve unit to the sheriff’s office.

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office conducted a health and welfare check on Card at the request of his Army unit in September “after they became concerned for his well-being,” the Army said Tuesday. A reserve soldier expressed concern that Card was going to commit a mass shooting, documents from the sheriff’s office show.

In a police incident report on the welfare check, a responding officer wrote it had come to the Army Reserves’ attention that “Card is having psychotic episodes where he is hearing voices that are insulting him calling him a pedophile.”

Card refused to answer the door, according to the incident report.

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