(NEW YORK) — A series of distraught text messages from suspected Maine shooter Robert Card’s fellow Army reservist warned their training supervisor that Card’s mental health was on the decline, according to documents obtained by ABC News.
The reservist warned Card could pose a “threat to the unit” and “other places,” that he was armed and dangerous, and that he “refused to get help,” according to the documents.
The four-part plea to defend against Card’s potential threat was texted at 2:04 a.m. in mid-September to Army reserve training supervisor Kelvin L. Mote.
Later that morning, as ABC previously reported, Mote would write a worried letter to local law enforcement requesting a welfare check on Card, noting that Card had been “hearing voices” and it had “only gotten worse,” pointing to the texts he had just received about Sergeant First Class Robert Card — one of his senior firearms instructors.
Less than a month later, Card would be found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a two-day massive manhunt after a mass shooting claimed 18 lives and injured 13 more, according to officials.
“You up i have something to report,” the texts began. “Change the passcode to the unit gate and be armed if sfc card does arrive. Please. I believe he’s messed up in the head,” adding that Card might “threaten the unit” and “other places.”
“I love [him] to death but i do not know how to help him and he refuses to get help or continue help,” the texts continue. “I’m afraid he’s going to [expletive] up his life from hearing things he thinks he heard,” referencing the paranoia and voices Card had been hearing, according to what his immediate family members have told police.
“And yes he still has all of his weapons,” the texts continue. “I believe he’s going to snap and do a mass shooting.”
On Oct. 25, Card opened fire at two locations — Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley, and Schemengees Bar & Grille.
In the immediate aftermath of the shootings and with the shooter on the run, police scrambled to secure various locations in the area where they feared Card might go next, according to a Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department incident report from just after 9 p.m. on Oct. 25One residence in particular was where Card’s sister, children and other family members were at the time — who “were concerned that Robert may be coming there to murder them as there was bad blood between [the owner of the home] and him,” according to the documents.
Local police provided security at the family member’s home while more police monitored Card’s house in case he tried to go back home until Maine State Police relieved them.
In the first few hours after the back-to-back shootings the situation “was evolving and not under control,” one Sagadahoc deputy writes in Oct. 25 incident report.
Local police surrounded Card’s mobile home in Bowdoin, to confront Card if he returned and to “make sure he would not make it into the residence as it was assumed that he could gain access to other weapons and ammunition.”
The home was dark when they got there, but outside, there was a dog tied up to a run, the incident report said.
Once Maine State Police searched the home, they would find the suicide note and additional weapons, the incident report says.
The report concluded, “It is believed that Card left his dog outside so somebody would know to care for it because he did not intend to return to his residence.”
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