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Maine shooter’s family says they ‘repeatedly called the military’ over mental health

Family of Lewiston, Maine shooter calls for change to help service members suffering from mental illness

Family of Lewiston, Maine shooter calls for change to help service members suffering from mental illness


LEWISTON, Maine – The family of the shooter who killed 18 people in Lewiston, Maine last year testified before a commission in Lewiston on Thursday, saying more could have been done to help them and prevent the mass shooting .

The family of Robert Card will never forget the 18 victims. A Lewiston commission began speaking with Card’s family this week to determine what could have been done better and whether it could have been avoided.

A family concerned about Robert Card’s mental health

“I would first like to pay tribute to the loved ones lost on October 25. My family will never forget your names. Each of your names is on our wall and in our homes as a constant reminder, as well as they are on our property , so we can see them every day when we leave the house and come home,” said James Herling, Card’s brother-in-law. “The medical results concluded that (Robert) had a traumatic brain injury, a traumatic brain injury, caused by our own army, not the war. His brain was not healthy and no one knew it.”

Card was in the U.S. Army Reserve. James Herling said his wife Nicole repeatedly called the Army because she was concerned his mental health might be an issue during training exercises.

“Despite numerous voicemails, none have been returned,” Nicole Herling said. “The Department of Defense’s negligence regarding head injuries must be corrected.”

Later, Card was sent to a military hospital before being released. The Herlings said Card began distancing himself from the family.

“While worrying, we considered the best of our health system and that if they released him, they should have assessed him as stable and safe,” added James Herling, while speaking before the Commission.

When news of the mass shooting hit their family, so did a photo of the suspect.

“I shared it with (Nicole). She looked at it and was silent. A few seconds later, her brother Ryan called her. She said to me: it’s Ryan and she screamed at him show the photo again,” recalls James Herling.

Family says they received no help from law enforcement

Nicole Herling called police to identify her brother Robert as the suspect. From then on they said law enforcement It was difficult to communicate with them and left them without any protection against the numerous threats and demands from the media.

“We had no protection, no officers present in case (Robert) tried to contact us,” James Herling said. “Why couldn’t my family get access to a patrol officer? It felt like our family didn’t matter, especially when other people in the state benefited from a protection. “

The card was eventually found dead near a Lisbon recycling plant. The family says they pushed police to investigate the area further because they believed it was likely a hideout.

“He had a hunch and he knew where his brother was. Ryan knew his brother. If they had listened more clearly, it would have ended the search much sooner, preventing fear and chaos in our state.” continued James Herling. .

Calls for change

Moving forward, the Cards want a place where military families can go when they have concerns and a place where they will be listened to. Card’s ex-wife, Cara Lamb, who had a son with him, said she also struggled to find a place to go after their son told her he was worried about health mentality of his father. Lamb said she tried to talk to the school resource officer because she was concerned that bringing police to his house would cause Card more problems.

“I’m not sure we have an appropriate place for these inappropriate questions. If I can’t say anything other than that, that’s the whole point of this case,” Lamb encouraged.


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