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Ex-girlfriend denies being targeted by Lewiston shooter, was not at either scene on Oct. 25

Community members look at a memorial outside Schemengees Bar & Grille about one week after a mass shooting, Nov. 3, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine.
Matt York
AP file
Community members look at a memorial outside Schemengees Bar & Grille about one week after a mass shooting, Nov. 3, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine.

An ex-girlfriend of the man responsible for the mass shootings at both a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston last October says she was not planning to be at either location the night of the attacks and doesn't believe she was a target. There have been suggestions that the shooter, Robert Card, may have been after certain people.

Many of the 3,000 pages released by police about their shooting investigation are heavily redacted and some of the information has been shared before.

Police interviewed an unidentified person who told them that Card's ex-girlfriend was in a bowling league and that she "could easily have been" at Just in Time Recreation at the time of the first attack.

Johanna Carr, who dated Card for several months until early 2023, says that's not the case.

"No, I never bowled in a league and never with him. Just socially," she says.

Carr, who has avoided speaking publicly until now, says she and Card did play cornhole together and she was in a league at Schemengees Bar and Grille. For awhile she had gone on Wednesday nights but at the time of the shootings was playing on Tuesdays. She says Card would have known that by using an app on his cellphone.

"You guys could download that and see that I was only registered on Tuesday not Wednesday. So that's technically public knowledge who would have been there that night and I wasn't on that list," she says.

Carr says she broke up with Card because of his erratic behavior. He got easily annoyed over small things and she couldn't see a future with him. But she also says he never got angry or aggressive with her and that their breakup was uneventful.

Instead, she says Card talked about how he thought the manager of Schemengees disliked him and was calling him a pedophile behind his back. She thought it was odd but assured him that wasn't true.

"I think the pedophile stuff started because of my kids. It initiated because he would hang out with my kids at Schemengees while I was there playing cornhole. And after we broke up he said, he'd commented that people were calling him pedophile," Carr says.

Card briefly dated another woman who also played cornhole, she says. After the two of them broke up, she says he stopped going to Schemengees and she never saw him again. But she wonders whether she missed red flags and whether there was something she could have done to get him help.

"But the more, the more I read about all the people that tried to get help — his son, his ex-wife — the more helpless I feel for myself and all the other people, because despite the efforts that so many people tried, at the end of the day, I feel like if anyone asked for help, it was him," Carr says.

After their breakup, Carr says she received a few text messages from Card asking her if she'd like to get back together for bowling or some other activity. She says in one long message, which she didn't find until after the October shootings, Card said people were insulting him and that he couldn't make others understand. Carr says he closed by telling her that she would do great in life.

This story is part of an ongoing collaboration with FRONTLINE (PBS) and the Portland Press Herald that includes an upcoming documentary. It is supported through FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Corrected: June 10, 2024 at 6:06 PM EDT
An earlier version of this story contained a reference to a person who claimed to have gone to a shooting range with Robert Card hours before he committed the mass shootings. While the account was contained in thousands of pages of documents released by Maine State Police, it was later deemed to be false.