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911 call transcripts reveal chaos of Maine mass shootings

By Steve Bottari

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    MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (WMUR) — Officials have released the transcripts of the 911 calls that flooded into dispatchers as a gunman opened fire inside a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, late last year.

Some of the calls are short, marked by the sound of shooting before the call cuts out. Others paint a picture of chaotic and terrifying moments, of children being barricaded, dead bodies and a shooter on the loose.

Eighteen people were killed and 13 people were wounded when gunman Robert Card entered a bar and a bowling alley minutes apart on Oct. 25, indiscriminately shooting.

The transcripts were released in response to a Freedom of Access Act request by news organizations. They show the dispatchers staying on the phone with callers, providing encouragement and telling them to wait for police to announce their arrival.

The transcripts show that people began identifying the shooter soon after surveillance photos were released to the public.

“We saw the picture online, and we’ve been very concerned about his,” one caller said. “We know he has firearms in his house. He lives alone. He shut his family out recently. We’ve just been really concerned about his mental health lately.”

That caller named Card as the suspect, and that tip was given to state police within two hours of the shootings.

The caller’s name was redacted, but the statements support previously released police and military statements about Card’s mental health state and potential danger to the community.

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