Retired Jacksonville SWAT officer gives insight into how manhunts work as agencies search for Maine shootings’ suspect

As police keep looking for the man accused of killing at least 18 people and injuring more than a dozen others in Maine Wednesday night, a retired Jacksonville SWAT officer gave more insight into how a manhunt like this typically works.

“Mr. Card is considered armed and dangerous and police advise that Maine people should not approach him under any circumstances,” Maine Governor Janet Mills said.

A manhunt like the one after the shootings’ suspect Robert Card, 40, is taking hundreds of officers from dozens of agencies through Maine.

Card is an Army Reservist described as an outdoorsman and a skilled marksman, plus a firearms instructor.

“How you find them, it’s just a systematic search of just cutting things off and just replenishing guys keeping it fresh, and always keeping the pressure on the person that you’re hunting,” former Jacksonville SWAT officer Jared Reston said.

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Reston, who now trains law enforcement across the country with the Reston Group, has been involved with numerous high-profile manhunts.

“He’s one person, an entity, we can trade people out and keep that pressure on him all the time. And that’s, that’s what they’re gonna do, systematically clear off areas,” Reston said.

Reston said this manhunt reminds him of the search for Christopher Kilgore on Jacksonville’s Westside and in Clay County in 2010. Kilgore shot four people, killing two. Schools and businesses went on lockdown for the days-long search until police found him hiding out in a boat.

Reston was among the four officers that shot into the boat and killed the suspect.

“He had his boat set up. Almost like, you know, had guns like set up on it like that would be a little fighting stance,” Reston said.

Reston has contacts with Maine State Police and said they have a robust SWAT team.

They’re heavily armed and highly prepared for a job like this.

“Good luck to the guys up there, feel terrible for the families all involved. But they’re gonna do their job up there,” Reston said.

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