Maine gunman says he suffered from mental health issues, gun store owner says

Nearly three months before Robert R. Card II shot and killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine, a gun store sold him after he disclosed in documents that he had mental health issues. The store owner said he refused to provide a silencer for the firearm he had purchased. Sunday interview.

Gun store owner Rick LaChapelle said Card, 40, went to Coastal Defense Firearms in neighboring Auburn on August 5 to pick up a silencer. LaChapelle said Card bought the silencer, a device that silences gunshots, from another store, which sent it to Coast Defense Firearms for pick-up.

The attempted purchase was one of the first signs Mr Card admitted he had mental health issues. ABC News first reported on the attempted purchase.

Questions about Card’s mental health and access to firearms are at the center of the investigation into his shooting spree in which he killed 18 people and injured 13 others at a bowling alley and bar.

Card, an Army reservist, clashed with authorities during a recent visit to a National Guard training facility outside Peekskill, New York, and was later checked into a mental health facility, police officials said. But Maine’s secretary of public safety said Saturday there was no information to suggest Mr. Card was incarcerated for mental health treatment.

While attempting to complete the purchase of a gun silencer in August, Mr. Card admitted on Form 4473, a federal document that must be filled out and signed in order to retrieve the device, that he had mental health issues. Form 4473 is used to determine whether you can receive a firearm or firearms equipment after purchase.

Officials say Mr. Card purchased the weapon legally, meaning he passed a background check, including an evaluation of whether he was mentally competent to own a firearm. means. It is unclear whether he acknowledged any mental health issues in previous documentation, which is typically required when purchasing weapons.

One of the questions on the form was, “Have you ever been determined to be a mentally defective OR?” Have you ever been admitted to a mental hospital? LaChapelle, who is also a Lewiston City Council member, said Card checked the box and said yes.

Gun store staff waited until Mr. Card signed the paperwork before refusing to provide him with a silencer. LaChapelle said Card was “very cordial and very courteous.”

“He said, ‘No problem.’ OK, let’s have a lawyer take a look at it and I’ll come back later to get it,” he added. “Then he left the store and he never came back.”

Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said in an interview Saturday that he learned in September that Card had made threats against the military base where he was assigned and sent a warning to all law enforcement agencies in Maine. . It is unclear whether other law enforcement agencies witnessed the alert.

Serge F. Kovaleski and nicolas vogel burrows Contributed to the report.

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