Army watchdog will launch investigation into Maine mass shooting

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Editor’s note: This article was first published in the Maine Morning Star.

Maine’s congressional delegation announced Friday that the U.S. Army Inspector General (IG) will conduct a formal, independent investigation into the events leading up to the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston. The announcement comes just over a week after families of shooting victims and one survivor visited Washington, D.C. to push for information regarding what the U.S. Army knew or what actions were taken regarding the mental health of shooter Robert Card.

“The Army is committed to diligently investigating all facts and events related to the Army involving SFC Card in the months and days before he committed these heinous acts,” Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo wrote in a letter addressed to Sen. Susan Collins. “The Secretary of the Army has requested the Army Inspector General to conduct an independent investigation to ensure that the Army takes corrective actions where appropriate. In response, the Army IG has instructed her team to immediately begin preparing to conduct this investigation.”

Collins, a Republican, along with independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden sent a letter to Army IG Lieutenant General Donna W. Martin after the families’ visit reiterating their request for a “broader independent inquiry” than the ongoing administrative review being conducted by the Army.

The Maine delegation said they are pleased with the IG’s response.

“A thorough investigation into what happened, and what could have been done differently, could help prevent future shootings,” they said. “This independent review by the Army Inspector General will be an important part of understanding the events that took place before that horrific night. The survivors, families affected, and members of the surrounding communities deserve nothing less.”

Travis Brennan, an attorney with Berman and Simmons who is representing some of the families of the Lewiston victims, said they are appreciative of the delegation’s efforts.

“The victims and families believe this is an important step toward gathering critical information and we are hopeful that it will help to answer important questions and lead to change,” he said. Earlier this week, Brennan along with attorney Benjamin Gideon laid out some of the specific questions they and the families are hoping such an inquiry will answer.

Lauren McCauley is the editor of Maine Morning Star. She has covered politics and policy in Maine for more than 10 years and is the former editor of Maine Beacon.

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