Maine gunman's brain had suffered "profound damage" consistent with his eight years as a grenade instructor

The Maine gunman's profoundly damaged brain showed cell damage consistent with that of other veterans exposed to weapons blasts and symptoms of it were observed before he killed 18 people.

The gunman, Robert Card, was a grenade instructor in the Army Reserve. In 2023, after eight years of being exposed to thousands of skull-shaking blasts on the training range, he began hearing voices and was stalked by paranoid delusions, his family said. He grew increasingly erratic and violent in the months before the October rampage in Lewiston, in which he killed 18 people and then himself.His brain was sent to a Veterans Affairs laboratory in Boston that is known for its pioneering work documenting chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., in athletes.

According to the lab's report, prepared on Feb. 26 and updated on Wednesday, the white matter that forms the wiring deep in the brain had "moderately severe" damage, and in some areas was missing entirely. The delicate tissue sheaths that insulate each biological circuit lay in "disorganized clumps," and throughout Mr. Card's brain there was scarring and inflammation suggesting repeated trauma.

Card was able to keep his rifles despite hearing voices that directed him to kill others and being institutionalized with a mental health crisis. The U.S. Senate recently approved a bill allowing veterans deemed 'mentally incompetent' to access guns. Hope springs intermittent!

Previously: The US has suffered 128 mass shootings in only 86 days