Senators Demand to Know How Army Missed Maine Mass Shooter’s Warning Signs

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(Ken Silva, Headline USA) Maine’s U.S. senators have written a letter to top Defense Department officials, seeking answers as to why the Army didn’t respond to the numerous mental health-related signs displayed by reservist Robert Card, who allegedly killed 18 people last month in two separate shootings.

The warning signs of Card’s declining mental health were loud and clear: The shooter reportedly threatened to shoot up a National Guard base earlier this year, had reported “hearing voices and threats to shoot up” the military base, and had been committed to a mental health facility for two weeks in the summer.

Moreover, the Army directed that while on military duty, Card should not have a weapon, handle ammunition or participate in live-fire activity. This directive occurred just a little over two months before Card allegedly perpetrated the largest mass shooting in Maine history.

“Despite these warning signs and others, there was no apparent attempt to trigger the crisis intervention laws in New York (where Mr. Card was training and hospitalized) or Maine (where Mr. Card resided),” Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a Nov. 2 letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Army Secretary Christine Smith and Army Inspector General Donna Martin.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has created an independent commission to evaluate the events surrounding the mass shooting. Sens. Collins and King said they were doing their part to find answers on the federal level.

Along with requesting a comprehensive investigation by the Army, the senators submitted a list of questions to the Pentagon officials.

Questions include what concerns were raised by Army personnel about Card’s mental health, what actions were taken in response to those concerns, and whether there was anything the Army could have done to prevent the mass shooting.

Additionally, the senators want to know whether all Army regulations were followed in relation to Card, and whether the Army considered invoking state crisis-intervention laws to temporarily disarm him.

Finally, the senators want to know what reforms the Army plans to impose to prevent future tragedies.

According to initial reports, Card was found dead on Oct. 28 in the woods with two gunshot wounds to the head. However, media later changed their story, reporting that Card was discovered in a dumpster with only one, apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Of course, initial reports are often incorrect when it comes to quickly developing events such as mass shootings. But in this case, the media that initially reported two gunshot wounds have stealth-edited their articles, rather than issuing corrections explaining why the initial “error” was made.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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