AUGUSTA, Maine — Following the tragic mass shooting that took the lives of 18 individuals in Lewiston last month, an independent commission has taken steps to seek subpoena power in order to access the military service records of the shooter. The commission, chaired by Daniel Wathen, former chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, held its first meeting on Monday to address the events leading up to the shooting and the response to it.
The shooter, Army reservist Robert Card, took the lives of 18 people at a bowling alley and a restaurant on Oct. 25 before ending his own life. Members of the commission, including former assistant U.S. attorney Toby Dilworth, emphasized the need for subpoena power to access necessary military records related to the case.
As part of their investigation, the panel will be looking into potential missed opportunities to prevent the shootings. Despite Card’s well-known history and the concerns raised about his behavior and mental state, the tragic event still occurred. The commission is expected to produce a written report within six months, according to Wathen.
In response to the commission’s move, Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and Attorney General Aaron Frey expressed their support for the use of subpoena power and committed to preparing legislation to grant the commission such authority. Rep. Suzanne Salisbury, a Westbrook Democrat, urged the commission to collaborate with law enforcement as they conduct their review.
The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 14, and they will continue to work towards shedding light on the circumstances surrounding the shooting and its prevention.