Governor Janet Mills has announced her intent to formally establish an independent commission of experts in the coming days to determine the facts and circumstances of the tragic October 25th shootings in Lewiston, including the months preceding the shooting and the police response to it.

Governor Mills issued the following statement:

A cornerstone of the ability to heal is to know the truth – in this case, the facts of what happened on that tragic night, of the months that led up to it, and of the police response to it.

It is important to recognize that, from what we know thus far, on multiple occasions over the last ten months, concerns about Mr. Card’s mental health and his behavior were brought to the attention of his Army National Reserve Unit, as well as law enforcement agencies here in Maine and in New York. This raises crucial questions about actions taken and what more could have been done to prevent this tragedy from occurring.

I know that the Maine State Police are working hard to conduct a thorough and comprehensive criminal investigation of the shooting, but I also believe that the gravity of this attack on our people – an attack that strikes at the core of who we are and the values we hold dear – demands a higher level of scrutiny.

In the coming days, I will work with the Attorney General to formally establish a fully independent commission, whose charge will be to determine the facts surrounding the tragedy on October 25th, including the time that led up to it and the police response to it. I envision this commission being comprised of independent experts with legal, investigative, and mental health backgrounds who can bring to bear their experiences in determining and laying out the full and impartial facts. I hope to formally announce this commission and its membership next week so that it may conduct itself with a due sense of urgency, and above all else, follow the facts wherever they may lead.

This – the complete facts and circumstances, including any failures – must be brought to light and known by all. The families of the victims, those who were injured, those who are recovering, and the people of Maine and the nation deserve nothing less.

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