Maine Mass Shooting Probe: Calls Mount for Federal Investigation Into Lewiston Gunman’s Mental State

LEWISTON, Maine – As the new year begins, many questions remain unanswered about the events surrounding the state’s deadliest mass shooting that occurred in October. Concerns have been raised about why the US Army Reserve’s warning about the shooter’s deteriorating mental health and potential for a mass shooting was not acted upon by law enforcement. Additionally, there is uncertainty about why the state’s “yellow flag” law was not invoked to restrict the shooter’s access to weapons, despite sufficient information being available.

One of the key components driving the ongoing inquiry is an independent commission appointed by Maine Governor Janet T. Mills to investigate the mass shootings in Lewiston. This commission is tasked with examining the events leading up to the rampage when authorities were alerted about the gunman’s declining mental health. Moreover, the state attorney general’s office has been regularly updating a website with records revealing details about the shooter’s criminal history and his mental state leading up to the massacre, providing important insights into the case.

The independent commission met in November and was due to meet again in December, but the meeting was postponed due to the members awaiting key information from the state. The commission is working towards preparing a report to be made public, and they have unanimously voted to request subpoena power from the Maine Legislature in order to carry out a comprehensive investigation.

In addition to the state’s inquiry, there have been calls for a federal investigation into the events preceding the mass shooting. Members of the Maine delegation have traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with congressional officials and the White House, echoing the need for a deeper investigation into the red flags raised about the shooter before the tragic incident occurred.

Furthermore, the shooter’s brain tissue has been sent to Boston University’s CTE Center for testing, as there is interest in conducting research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy due to the shooter’s military background. Additionally, there are ongoing requests from journalists for additional records that may shed more light on the events leading up to the shootings, including 911 calls, tips received by law enforcement, and background information about the gunman.

As the investigation continues, Maine and the rest of the country are eagerly awaiting the findings of the independent commission, the potential for a federal investigation, and the results of the CTE testing on the shooter’s brain tissue. The year 2024 holds the promise of bringing more clarity to this tragic event.