Sean Hodgson: Friend of Maine shooter Robert Card who killed 18 warned officials before mass shooting

Sean Hodgson: Friend of 'messed up' Maine shooter Robert Card who killed 18 explicitly warned officials weeks before mass shooting
Robert Card's closest friend, Sean Hodgson, had alerted their boss six weeks before the attack in Maine (Maine Department of Public Safety)

MAINE, LEWISTON: In the case of the Maine mass shooting involving Robert Card, a crucial moment emerged that could have potentially prevented the tragedy.

According to reports, a friend of Card texted Card's Army reservist supervisor, issuing a warning about Card's anger.

To provide context, on October 25, Card carried out a shooting spree at the Lewiston Schemengees Bar and Grille and Just In Time bowling alley, resulting in the deaths of 18 people and injuries to 13 others.

Card was later discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound near dumpsters at a recycling plant in Lisbon Falls, where he had previously been employed, on October 27.

After the tragic attack, authorities have initiated an investigation, and the US Army has announced its intention to conduct an independent inquiry into the events leading up to the shooting in Lewiston.

What did Robert Card’s friend report?

Robert Card's closest friend, Sean Hodgson, had alerted their boss six weeks before the fatal attack in Maine, expressing concerns that his former roommate might unleash a mass shooting.

Despite Hodgson's explicit warning, authorities failed to take prompt action.

Hodgson messaged his Army reservist supervisor, stating, “I wasn’t in his head. I don’t know exactly what went on. But I know I was right, I believe he’s going to snap and do a mass shooting, I don’t believe in coincidences. I know it’s Robert Card, I did my job, and I went over and beyond it, and I literally spelled it out for them.”

Expressing frustration at the authorities' lack of response to the perceived threat, the 43-year-old Hodgson lamented, "I don't know how clear I could have gotten." 

In his initial message, Hodgson pleaded with those in charge to change the gate passcode to the Army Reserve training facility and to be armed if Card were to appear. He wrote, "Please, I believe he's messed up in the head."

Hodgson, who had been friends with Card since 2006, highlighted Card's documented mental decline. 

In May, Card's relatives had warned authorities about his paranoia and expressed concerns about his access to firearms.

Two months later, the father-of-one was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward for two weeks after a physical altercation with another reservist and locking himself in a motel room as per New York Post.

Army disqualified Robert Card during duty

In August, the Army prohibited Card from handling weapons during duty and disqualified him from deployment. 

(AP news/screengrab)
Authorities chose not to act on Hodgson's warning and did not address the concerns raised about Card. (AP news/screengrab)

Despite this, authorities chose not to act on Hodgson's warning and did not address the concerns raised about Card. 

Hodgson expressed understanding of the horrific actions taken by Card, though he did not agree with them. He emphasized his love for Card and the desire to prevent such a tragic outcome. 

Hodgson also cautioned against speculation, stating, "Any speculation at this point without having all the details could affect the outcome of the investigation. More details may become available once the investigation is complete."

Lt Col Addie Leonhardt, an Army Reserve spokesperson, commented on the ongoing investigation into the tragedy, while Sheriff Joel Merry of Sagadahoc County, where Card lived, refrained from answering questions regarding whether Hodgson's warnings were appropriately followed up.

Friendship between Robert Card and Sean Hodgson

Robert Card (Maine Department of Public Safety)
Robert Card shot himself with gun after killing 18 and injuring 13  (Maine Department of Public Safety)


As reported by, Card and Hodgson first met in 2006 in the Army Reserve, forging a strong bond, particularly when they both went through divorces simultaneously.

They even lived together for about a month. Hodgson supported Card during his hospitalization in July and disclosed that Card began confiding in him about his belief that others were accusing him of being a pedophile.

Notably, Hodgson acknowledged that he believed some of Card's complaints were valid, stating, "I always stuck by him."

Hodgson recounted an incident in September when Card exhibited alarming behavior, almost crashing the car multiple times. When Hodgson pleaded for Card to pull over, Card responded by punching him in the face.

Hodgson reported that military officials followed him to obtain opposing statements against Card, yet they did not seek assistance in approaching Card. When authorities visited Card's home, they chose not to confront him.

The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office later released videos downplaying Hodgson's warning, suggesting he might have been intoxicated when he texted at 2:04 a.m.

Army Reserve Capt Jeremy Reamer, speaking to police at the training center, described Hodgson as "not the most credible of our soldiers" and advised taking his message "with a grain of salt."

Unaware of these comments until contacted by AP, Hodgson revealed his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol addiction but clarified he wasn't drinking that night, waiting for his boss' call.

He admitted facing criminal charges but insisted authorities should have taken him more seriously, considering his relationship with Card, training in threat detection, and past work as a security officer at a nuclear plant.

Hodgson expressed frustration, saying, “That was the most difficult thing I ever had to do, was report him to command, and I did that. And for them to discredit me? It pisses me off because all they had to do is listen.”

In a concluding statement, Hodgson expressed his disdain for the fact that Card "took the easy way out" and is not around to face consequences.

He emphasized that the Card he had known and loved for 17 years is not the person who committed the tragic act, and he struggles with this realization daily.

Hodgson asserted that he did everything in his power to save lives and wanted people to understand the depth of his love and care for Card and his profound disappointment in Card's actions.

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