Reservist’s Low Threat Profile Examined in Maine Mass Shooting Case

Lewiston, Maine – A high-ranking Army Reserve official testified in front of a state commission on Monday regarding the tragic mass shooting that took place at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston. The lieutenant colonel, Ryan Vazquez, addressed concerns about reservist Robert Card’s mental health prior to the deadly incident which claimed the lives of 18 individuals.

Vazquez revealed that Card had a low threat profile when he was discharged from a psychiatric hospital before the shootings occurred. Despite concerns about Card’s mental state, Vazquez explained that there were limitations on enforcing a mental treatment plan for Card when he was not on military duty. Additionally, he mentioned the lack of a mechanism for the Army Reserves to seize Card’s civilian weapons or store them under normal circumstances.

The commission was established by Governor Janet Mills to investigate the events leading up to the massacre and determine the failures in preventing such a tragedy. The interim report released by the commission highlighted the shortcomings in law enforcement’s handling of the situation, emphasizing the need for more proactive measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

During his testimony, Vazquez acknowledged the challenges faced by the Army Reserves in dealing with reservists’ mental health issues and ensuring their compliance with treatment. He expressed regret over the limitations in his authority to intervene in Card’s situation, especially when he was not on active duty.

Members of the commission recognized the difficulties faced by Card’s Army superiors in the months leading up to the shootings. Former United States attorney Paula Silsby noted the lack of authority the command structure had over reservists, underscoring the need for improved protocols and support systems.

The commission’s full report on the Lewiston shootings is expected to be released later this summer, shedding light on the systemic failures that contributed to the devastating incident. As investigations by the Army Reserves and the Army Inspector General continue, more details are anticipated to emerge regarding the handling of mental health issues among reservists.

Ultimately, the tragedy in Lewiston has sparked a broader conversation about the challenges faced by military officials in addressing mental health concerns among reservists and ensuring the safety of both the individuals and the community at large. The forthcoming reports from the various investigative bodies will hopefully provide insights and recommendations to prevent similar tragedies in the future.