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By Johnathan Jones,

A man who survived a mass shooting on Wednesday evening at a Maine bowling alley likely avoided by sprinting down a lane and climbing into the pin-setting equipment.

Police have been looking for a man they have identified as the suspect in deadly shootings at multiple locations in the Portland area.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that authorities were searching for 40-year-old Robert Card, who they allege opened fire at a bowling alley in the city of Lewiston.

Seven people were shot to death inside the Just-in-Time Recreation bowling alley while others scrambled for cover.

One of the survivors described how he was able to avoid being shot.

“Out of nowhere, he just came in and there was a loud pop. I thought it was a balloon and I had my back turned to the door,” a man named Brandon told a reporter.

“As soon as I turned and saw that it was not a balloon, he was holding a weapon, I just booked it down the lane,” he said, “and I slid basically into where the pins are and climbed up into the machine and was on top of the machines for about 10 minutes.”

The man said he came out once the police arrived.

The bowling alley posted a message about the shooting on Facebook.

“None of this seems real, but unfortunately it is. We are devastated for our community and our staff. We lost some amazing and whole hearted people from our bowling family and community last night,” Just-In-Time Recreation posted.

“There are no words to fix this or make it better,” it said. “We are praying for everyone who has been affected by this horrific tragedy. We love you all and hold you close in our hearts.”

According to NBC News, police say Card killed eight people at the bowling alley before he went to a nearby bar and carried out a second shooting.

Eight people were shot to death inside Schemengees Bar and Grille, while three more died in area hospitals.

Officials said Thursday that 18 people in total are dead. They did not say how many people were wounded in the shootings.

A statewide manhunt was underway to find Card, who has worked as a firearms instructor and was recently hospitalized for allegedly threatening his own Army Reserve unit with violence, according to NBC News.

The Washington Post reported Card joined the Army in 2002.

He is being sought on a warrant for multiple counts of murder by hundreds of law enforcement officers across Maine.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the search.

Reports Thursday afternoon indicated authorities were searching the Kennebec River for signs of Card.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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