Robert Card bought rifle used in massacre days before mental breakdown

Robert Card, who was found dead Friday, legally purchased a rifle that police believe he used in the Maine mass shooting just days before he was hospitalized for having thoughts about harming fellow soldiers, according to a report.

The accused murderer was sent to the hospital in mid-July after authorities found him acting “belligerently and possibly intoxicated” at Camp Smith, a military base in Cortlandt, New York, law enforcement sources told CNN.

Card was released the next day, but was quickly given a “Command Referral” to seek treatment after he told army personnel at Camp Smith he had been “hearing voices” and had thoughts about “hurting other soldiers,” a federal law enforcement insider told the outlet.

He was taken to the nearby Keller Army Community Hospital at the United States Military Academy for “medical evaluation,” after Army Reserve officials reported Card for “behaving erratically,” a National Guard spokesperson confirmed.

Just 10 days earlier, Card walked into a Maine gun store and bought a Ruger SFAR, that fires high-powered .308 ammunition, the same gun police think was in Wednesday’s bloodbath that left 18 dead of dozens injured.

Sources said the rifle was found inside Card’s white Subaru Outback, which was located abandoned about 8 miles from Lewiston, where Card allegedly carried out the sick attack.

Police still have to run ballistics and DNA tests to confirm it is the same gun that was fired at the bowling alley and a local bar.

Such large-caliber bullets are typically used by snipers and big-game hunters and are more powerful than any munitions used by most soldiers and law enforcement, according to CNN.


Card reportedly told army personnel he had been “hearing voices” and had thoughts about “hurting other soldiers.”
AP

Robert Card fires the gun.
Robert Card bought a a Ruger SFAR just 10 days before he was hospitalized for suffering a mental breakdown on a New York army base.
Lewiston Maine Police Department

Card also reportedly bought a Beretta 92-F 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a standard weapon of the US military.

Authorities had difficulty identifying all 18 victims over the past two days because most had been shot in the head, leaving them unrecognizable.

Card was found deceased in Lisbon Friday, two days after the attack.

He was reportedly found in Lisbon near a recycling center where he used to work in the same clothes he had on during the shootings on Wednesday.

Authorities had launched an intense manhunt for the suspected gunman that had officials on the ground, in the air and diving in rivers.

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