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Army Reserve Captain admits to not following up on Robert Card’s mental health treatment

Captain Jeremy Reamer testifying before the commission investigating the Lewiston shootings on April 11, 2024.
Patty Wight
Maine Public
Captain Jeremy Reamer testifying before the commission investigating the Lewiston shootings on April 11, 2024.

Thursday the independent commission investigating the Lewiston shootings pressed U.S. Army Reserve Captain Jeremy Reamer about what actions he did and didn't take after fellow reservist Robert Card was hospitalized for psychosis and threatened acts of violence. Card would later shoot to death 18 people in Lewiston.

It was Captain Reamer who ordered Robert Card to go to a hospital for a mental health evaluation last July. Card was at a training in New York at the time with fellow reservists. He'd locked himself in a room after getting into a fight and accusing others of calling him a pedophile.

Card was ultimately hospitalized for two weeks for psychosis. He was supposed to attend follow up appointments as called for in his discharge papers. But when commission member Toby Dilworth asked Reamer whether he checked to see if Card was complying, Reamer said he faced limitations.

"It is difficult to do in an Army Reserve capacity," he said.

Reamer explained that unlike active duty, where there's unlimited access to unit members, reservists go back to the civilian world.

This was the beginning of a tense three hours of questioning. It was Reamer's second appearance before the commission, and this time, members had emails, text messages, and other documents to inform their questions. Dilworth asked Reamer about a counseling form sent to his email that that ordered Card to make regular contact with a case management team and update Reamer about his case.

"Did you do anything to enforce the order?" Dilworth asked.

"I did not," Reamer answered.

Reamer explained his email was down at the time and he didn't discover the message until after the Lewiston shootings. Commission members also pressed Reamer about efforts to remove firearms from Card's home, which was recommended after his medical evaluation. Reamer told the commission that he didn't have jurisdiction over personal firearms. Instead, he said Card's friend and fellow reservist Sean Hodgson was coordinating to remove firearms with Card's family.

"We understood that that was the plan, to have the family remove the firearms," Reamer said.

"To this day, do you know whether the firearms were ever removed from Card's house?" Dilworth asked.

"I do not," Reamer said.

In September, Hodgson texted Reamer to say that he believed Card had guns in his car, and that he was threatening to shoot up the reserve unit in Saco. That prompted Reamer to ask the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's office to conduct a well being check on Card. Commission members suggested that type of request downplayed the situation and they questioned why he didn't ask for Card to be taken into custody.

"Because I would not dictate how police do their job," Reamer said. "I requested that they do a check well-being, expecting them to do their job, but would not tell them how to do their job."

Reamer was ultimately asked to reflect on whether he would do anything differently with the sheriff's office. He said looking at it through the lens he had at the time, not knowing that Card would go on to kill 18 people, he stands by his actions.

"So I don't necessarily think I would have changed anything because I relied on the local law enforcement to do their job," Reamer said.

Which prompted this response from commission member Ellen Gorman.

"You have said on a couple of occasions that you expected the law enforcement here in Maine to do their job," Gorman said.

"Mmhmm," Reamer answered.

"Was it your job to complete the developmental counseling form?" Gorman asked.

"That was a requirement of me, yes," Reamer said.

"Did you do that?" Gorman asked.

"I did not," Reamer answered.

"And was it your job to ensure that Card followed through with the mental health treatment that he had been ordered to comply with by the Army?" Gorman asked.

"It was to supervise him..." Reamer started to answer.

"It was your job?" Gorman asked.

"It was part of my job, yes," Reamer said.

"Did you do that?" Gorman asked.

After a long pause, Reamer answered that he did not.