Bar Manager Killed in Maine Shooting Was Subject of Gunman’s Paranoid Delusions

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Reuters/GoFundMe
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Reuters/GoFundMe

An arrest warrant revealed Tuesday that Maine mass shooter Robert Card began unraveling in February after he was dumped by his ex-girlfriend—a woman he met at the same bar he opened fire in last week.

Card met the unnamed woman at Schemengees Bar & Grille during a cornhole tournament there, a warrant revealed, giving new insight into why Card may have targeted the bar.

A witness told police that Card would take his ex to eat at the bar along with her two daughters, the warrant said. During those meals, the witness said Card thought people were looking at him and that the bar’s manager, Joey Walker, had “called him gay.”

The witness told police that they insisted to Card that the manager “doesn’t say anything like that.”

Walker was one of the victims killed during the horrific Oct. 25 shooting.

Among Card’s victims at Schemengees were people playing in a deaf cornhole tournament, though it remains unclear whether he knew any of the people he gunned down, aside from Walker. Card had recently received hearing aids and had been hearing voices, his family said.

Card’s paranoia that people were watching him at Schemengees was part of a larger conspiracy he’d concocted in his head, witnesses told police. They said Card believed four local businesses—that included Schemengees and the bowling alley he shot up—were broadcasting claims that he was a pedophile.

The witness said they tried to help Card for several months, and said that Card claimed “to hear people calling him a pedophile, which really upset him.”

‘Utter Clowns’: It’s Knives Out Over Maine State Police Massacre Response

These bizarre fears came amid a tumultuous year for Card, who was dumped in February and stopped taking his medication, the warrant said. Card had “significant” weight loss after the breakup, the warrant said, and he left his job at the Maine Recycling Corporation in April after he had an issue with another employee.

Authorities revealed previously that Card, an Army reservist, spent two weeks in a psychiatric facility after he shoved a Maine National Guardsman in a parking lot. That incident was sparked by Card after he claimed his colleague called him a pedophile, authorities said.

Card didn’t stay out of trouble after being released from the psychiatric facility. Weeks after his release, Card allegedly punched another guardsman after he told Card to stop talking about shooting up a base.

By September, cops tried to conduct a wellness check on Card, but he repeatedly refused to answer the door. His loved ones told cops that they immediately knew that Card was the mass shooter after the shooting’s locations were released, his arrest warrant said.

Card’s sister called 911 within 15 minutes of shots being fired at Schemengees, according to the warrant. Eight people were killed there and 10 others at the nearby bowling alley.

In a police interview, Card’s sister said that her brother had been “delusional” since the breakup. She detailed Card’s belief in a conspiracy against him, and said he was “very interested in firearms and owned a lot of them,” including rifles and handguns.

The warrant confirms what Card’s sister-in-law exclusively told The Daily Beast last week. In an interview, Katie Card said that the Army reservist claimed he was hearing voices at the two locations that were attacked.

“He would get mad and claim that we didn’t believe him. We tried to listen to him and tell him that nobody was talking about him,” Katie said of her brother-in-law, adding that “as the story was unfolding, we prayed that Rob had nothing to do with this. But when we heard the two places where the shooting happened, my husband rushed home.”

Card’s arrest warrant revealed that he thought his own family was involved in the conspiracy. As of Tuesday, cops have not outright said what they believe Card’s motive for the massacre was.

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