A Telegram user who operates under the handle “Police frequency” circulated a photo Wednesday night that it claims is of the person police have identified as the person of interest in the Lewiston, Maine mass shooting that left at least 18 dead and 60 injured.
However, the photo is of an entirely different person. The man just happens to have the same first and last name as the suspect, Robert Card.
The post was uploaded to Telegram on Wednesday night a few hours after the shooting.
“UPDATE: Lewiston Maine Mass Shooting Suspect Robert Card Has Been Previously Arrested For Child Pornography & Is A Registered Sex Offender Who CAN NOT LEGALLY POSSESS A FIREARM!” it states.
As of this writing, it’s been viewed nearly 50,000 times on Police frequency and 3,500 times on TruthHammer, another Telegram channel that shared the original post.
The Daily Dot also found the same incorrect information circulating on other social media platforms.
The Robert W. Card, then 32, in the picture was charged with possessing and disseminating sexually explicit material in 2016, according to centralmaine.com.
The story notes that Robert W. Card lived in Fairfield. Police have said that the shooting suspect resides in Bowdoin.
The two men also have different middle names. According to Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck, authorities are seeking “Robert R. Card of Bowdoin, Maine.”
On Thursday, CNN reported that Card is a certified firearms instructor and member of the U.S. Army Reserve. Officials also said that Card reportedly recently threatened to shoot a National Guard facility in Maine and had mental health issues, including hearing voices.
According to the Department of Defense, convicted sex offenders are not allowed to serve in the military.
Some people believed that the viral photo showed the correct Robert Card. But many commenters called out the misidentification, with one observing, “Yeah that looks nothing like the guy in the surveillance video pictures.”
“That’s not the shooter,” another wrote.
Users added community notes correcting a similar post on X that also misidentified the suspect. That post has been viewed over 700,000 times.
On Thursday morning, the Maine Department of Public Safety confirmed to the Daily Dot that the man identified by Police frequency and other social media users is not the suspect.
The department further confirmed that he does not have the same date of birth as the Robert Card that authorities are currently searching for in relation to the mass shooting.