Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
Law enforcement members searched for Robert Card for two days before he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
CNN  — 

Newly released footage from law enforcement in Maine shows officials were aware of growing concerns over the mental health state of the man accused of killing 18 people more than a month before the attack in October that became the state’s deadliest mass shooting.

Dashcam footage from the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office reveals details showing law enforcement was aware of shooter Robert Card’s issues and had concerns about his access to firearms in September. At the time, authorities took steps to confront Card at a residence, but he wouldn’t answer the door.

Card, who was a US Army reservist, was accused of killing 18 people and injuring 13 others in a shooting rampage at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston, Maine, on the evening of October 25. He was found dead near Lewiston two days later from a self-inflicted gunshot after an intense manhunt.

Prior to the shooting, Card’s family contacted the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office in May, telling police that his “mental health had started to decline in January” and that they were “concerned for his well-being,” adding that “Card had access to firearms,” according to the sheriff’s October 30 news release.

A few months later in September, the sheriff’s office received an email from Card’s Army Reserve unit in Saco, Maine, asking law enforcement to conduct a wellness check on Card, the news release added.

CNN has reached out to Card’s family for comment.

After hearing these repeated concerns both from his family members and members of his army reserve unit, Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s officers attempted to get in touch with Card in September by going to his residence where they “repeatedly knocked on the door,” did not see him but “heard someone moving around the trailer,” according to news release.

Officials concerned over Card’s weapons

In one of two dashcam videos dated September 16 that CNN obtained from Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office Friday, a deputy is heard speaking with U.S. Army Reserve Captain Jeremy Reamer on what appears to be a phone call taken in his patrol car.

The deputy tells Reamer that he doesn’t want to come off as “an alarmist” but he’s “just trying to get some answers” from the Army Reserve captain on Card’s standing with the reserve unit.

“They’re (Card’s family) worried about him doing a mass shooting, and he’s having hallucinations, that he’d been institutionalized for a couple of weeks this past summer, and he’s not showing any signs of improvement,” the deputy is heard telling Reamer.

The deputy then asks Reamer if he knows whether Card has any government issued weapons from the Army Reserve at his home.

WMTV/WCVB/Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office/Saco Police Department
Sgt. Aaron Skolfield of the Saco Police Department went to the home of Robert Card's father in Bowdoin, Maine, to perform a welfare check, on September 16.

Reamer tells the deputy that he’s not clear on Card’s access to weapons, but that he was told but unable to verify that Card’s “weapons have been moved out to a family member’s place.”

“Whether he has access to those at the family members – I don’t know,” Reamer said.

CNN has reached out to Reamer for comment.

In another dashcam video released by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy is heard speaking with Card’s father, Robert Card Sr., asking if he’s seen his son or knows anything about his son’s access to weapons.

“As I understand it, Ryan (Card) has his weapons, and I just want to make sure that’s the case. Are you familiar with that at all?”

Card’s father says he doesn’t know anything about his son’s access to weapons and tells the deputy to talk to his other son, Ryan Card, adding that he hasn’t talked to Robert in the last few days.

Card had a history of evading confrontation with authorities

Army Reserve Capt. Jeremy Reamer warned a Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s deputy that the Army Reserves had dealt with Card’s evasive behavior in the past.

“He can be uncooperative or whatever, but there’s no sense in you guys pushing in,” Reamer tells the deputy. “It seems to be his thing when he just doesn’t wanna deal with us, anybody. He just kinda locks (himself) in there … nothing ended up happening. He didn’t have any weapons.”

Reamer tells the deputy that he is also a police officer, but in New Hampshire, and that they have different laws in dealing with people like Card.

The deputy responds that it’s a bit more complicated in Maine and references the state’s “yellow flag” law saying, “When there’s someone who’s a danger to themselves or others, there’s a process where we supposed to go through to seize their weapons if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.”

“That obviously is a hurdle we have to deal with, but at the same time, we don’t want to throw a stick of dynamite into a pool of gas either and make things worse,” the deputy tells Reamer.

The deputy then tells the Army reservist captain that police have gone to Card’s trailer to try and check in on him and have noted that he was home, but “he won’t answer the door.”

Last week, a third-party review found Sheriff’s officials “reasonably” responded to concerns about Card’s mental health in the months prior to the mass shooting, but improvements to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office strategy were recommended.

“After an objective analysis, the reviewer concluded that the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office’s responses to concerns about Mr. Card’s mental health in May and September 2023 was reasonable under the totality of the circumstances,” the 97-page report says.