(The Hill) — Author Stephen King railed against gun violence in the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Maine, calling for people to “stop electing apologists for murder.”
“It’s the rapid-fire killing machines, people,” King wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This is madness in the name of freedom. Stop electing apologists for murder.”
At least 16 people were killed in Lewiston, Maine, on Wednesday in a mass shooting incident at two locations. Local authorities said the suspect remains at large and residents were instructed to shelter in place. Firearms instructor Robert Card, 40, has been named as a person of interest.
Maine State Police expanded the shelter-in-place advisory overnight Thursday to include residents of Lisbon after finding a vehicle of interest there. The shelter-in-place notice was also expanded to include the town of Bowdoin, which is about 20 miles south of Maine’s capital, Augusta.
King, a native of Maine who went to high school in Lisbon, said the shootings occurred less than 50 miles from where he lives.
In a later post on X, King wrote, “THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN OTHER COUNTRIES.”
Authorities said a shooter opened fire at a bowling alley and a bar, killing at least 16 people and injuring dozens of others.
More than 100 federal and local investigators are part of the manhunt for Card, who authorities said is a firearms instructor in the Army Reserve assigned to a training facility in Saco, Maine. Police said Card is “considered armed and dangerous.”
King has spoken out about gun violence in recent months and has called on lawmakers to take further action on the issue.
“It might be time to stop talking about Hunter Biden’s laptop and do something about America’s problem with gun violence,” King wrote in a May post on X, in reference to the congressional investigations into President Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s alleged foreign business dealings.
Responding to a separate post in May from Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who was discussing Biden’s economic policies, King wrote, “I think you should do something about mass shootings.”
The Associated Press reported the shooting marked the country’s 36th mass killing this year, according to a database from the AP and USA Today. At least 188 people have reportedly died in these mass killings, which are defined as incidents in which four or more people have died in a 24-hour period, not including the killer.
So far this year, the U.S. has experienced the second-highest number on record of mass killings and deaths to this point in a year, the AP reported. Only 2019 had more mass killings, it said.