At least 22 people were killed and 50 to 60 wounded on Wednesday in mass shootings at multiple locations including a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, NBC News reported, citing a Lewiston police source.
The Lewiston Police Department on Facebook identified a person of interest in the mass shooting at the bar and bowling alley as Robert Card, 40, saying he should be "considered armed and dangerous."
Police earlier posted three photographs of an unidentified suspect pointing what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle, in addition to a picture of a white SUV, asking the public for help in identifying either.
The Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office also posted pictures of the suspect, a bearded man in a brown hoodie jacket and jeans holding a rifle in the firing position.
"There is an active shooter in Lewiston," Maine state police said previously on the social media platform X. "We ask people to shelter in place. Please stay inside your home with the doors locked. Law enforcement is currently investigating at multiple locations."
The Sun Journal, citing a Lewiston police spokesperson, reported shootings at three separate businesses: the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley, Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant, and a Walmart distribution center.
The bowling alley is about four miles (6.5 km) north of the bar, and the distribution center is about a mile and a half (2.5 km) south of the bar.
The Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston issued a statement saying it was "reacting to a mass casualty, mass shooter event" and coordinating with area hospitals to take patients.
Lewiston is part of and about 35 miles (56 km) north of Maine's largest city, Portland.
Lewiston, a former textile hub and town of 38,000 people in Androscoggin County, is located in southern Maine about midway between the state capital, Augusta, and Portland, the state's most populous city
President Joe Biden has been briefed and will continue to receive updates, a U.S. official said in Washington.
The president spoke by phone individually to Maine Governor Janet Mills, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Congressman Jared Golden about the shooting in Lewiston and offered full federal support in the wake of the attack, the White House said.
If the death toll of 22 is confirmed, the massacre would be the deadliest in the United States since at least August 2019, when a gunman opened fire on shoppers at an El Paso Walmart with an AK-47 rifle, killing 23 in a shooting that prosecutors branded an anti-Hispanic hate crime, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The 22 fatalities would also be on par with the number of homicides that normally occur in Maine in any given year. The number of annual homicides in the state has fluctuated between 16 and 29 since 2012, according to Maine State Police.
The number of U.S. shootings in which four or more people were shot has surged since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, with 647 occurring in 2022 and 679 projected to occur in 2023, based on trends as of July, according to data from the archive.
The deadliest U.S. mass shooting on record is the massacre of 58 people by a gunman firing on a Las Vegas country music festival from a high-rise hotel perch in 2017.